[Footnote: With laugh repress'd, l. 434. The cause of the violent actions of laughter, and of the difficulty of restraining them, is a curious subject of inquiry. When pain afflicts us, which we cannot avoid, we learn to relieve it by great voluntary exertions, as in grinning, holding the breath, or screaming; now the pleasurable sensation, which excites laughter, arises for a time so high as to change its name, and become a painful one; and we excite the convulsive motions of the respiratory muscles to relieve this pain. We are however unwilling to lose the pleasure, and presently put a stop to this exertion; and immediately the pleasure recurs, and again as instantly rises into pain. Which is further explained in Zoonomia, Sect. 34. 1. 4. When this pleasurable sensation rises into a painful one, and the customs of society will not permit us to laugh aloud, some other violent voluntary exertion is used instead of it to alleviate the pain.]
[Footnote: With smile chastised, l. 434. The origin of the smile has generally been ascribed to inexplicable instinct, but may be deduced from our early associations of actions and ideas. In the act of sucking, the lips of the infant are closed round the nipple of its mother, till it has filled its stomach, and the pleasure of digesting this grateful food succeeds; then the sphincter of the mouth, fatigued by the continued action of sucking, is relaxed; and the antagonist muscles of the face gently acting, produce the smile of pleasure, which is thus during our lives associated with gentle pleasure, which is further explained in Zoonomia, Sect. 16. 8. 4.]
Now at her nod the Nymphs attendant bring Translucent water from the bubbling spring; In crystal cups the waves salubrious shine, Unstain'd untainted with immodest wine. Next, where emerging from its ancient roots Its widening boughs the Tree of Knowledge shoots; 440 Pluck'd with nice choice before the Muse they placed The now no longer interdicted taste. Awhile they sit, from higher cares released, And pleased partake the intellectual feast. Of good and ill they spoke, effect and cause, Celestial agencies, and Nature's laws.
So when angelic Forms to Syria sent Sat in the cedar shade by ABRAHAM'S tent; A spacious bowl the admiring Patriarch fills With dulcet water from the scanty rills; 450 Sweet fruits and kernels gathers from his hoard, With milk and butter piles the plenteous board; While on the heated hearth his Consort bakes Fine flour well kneaded in unleaven'd cakes. The Guests ethereal quaff the lucid flood, Smile on their hosts, and taste terrestrial food; And while from seraph-lips sweet converse springs, Lave their fair feet, and close their silver wings.
END OF CANTO II.
ORIGIN OF SOCIETY.
PROGRESS OF THE MIND.
I. Urania and the Muse converse 1. Progress of the Mind 42. II. The Four sensorial powers of Irritation, Sensation, Volition, and Association 55. Some finer senses given to Brutes 93. And Armour 108. Finer Organ of Touch given to Man 121. Whence clear ideas of Form 125. Vision is the Language of the Touch 131. Magic Lantern 139. Surprise, Novelty, Curiosity 145. Passions, Vices 149. Philanthropy 159. Shrine of Virtue 160. III. Ideal Beauty from the Female Bosom 163. Eros the God of Sentimental Love 177. Young Dione idolized by Eros 186. Third chain of Society 206. IV. Ideal Beauty from curved Lines 207. Taste for the Beautiful 222. Taste for the Sublime 223. For poetic Melancholy 231. For Tragedy 241. For artless Nature 247. The Genius of Taste 259. V. The Senses easily form and repeat ideas 269. Imitation from clear ideas 279. The Senses imitate each other 293. In dancing 295. In drawing naked Nymphs 299. In Architecture, as at St. Peter's at Rome 303. Mimickry 319. VI. Natural Language from imitation 335. Language of Quails, Cocks, Lions, Boxers 343. Pantomime Action 357. Verbal Language from Imitation and Association 363. Symbols of ideas 371. Gigantic form of Time 385. Wings of Hermes 391. VII. Recollection from clear ideas 395. Reason and Volition 401. Arts of the Wasp, Bee, Spider, Wren, Silk-Worm 411. Volition concerned about Means or Causes 435. Man distinguished by Language, by using Tools, labouring for Money, praying to the Deity 438. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil 445. VIII. Emotions from Imitation 461. The Seraph; Sympathy 467. Christian Morality the great bond of Society 483-496.
PROGRESS OF THE MIND.
I. Now rose, adorn'd with Beauty's brightest hues, The graceful HIEROPHANT, and winged MUSE; Onward they step around the stately piles, O'er porcelain floors, through laqueated ailes, Eye Nature's lofty and her lowly seats, Her gorgeous palaces, and green retreats, Pervade her labyrinths with unerring tread, And leave for future guests a guiding thread.
First with fond gaze blue fields of air they sweep, Or pierce the briny chambers of the deep; 10 Earth's burning line, and icy poles explore, Her fertile surface, and her caves of ore; Or mark how Oxygen with Azote-Gas Plays round the globe in one aerial mass, Or fused with Hydrogen in ceaseless flow Forms the wide waves, which foam and roll below.
[Footnote: How Oxygen, l. 13. The atmosphere which surrounds us, is composed of twenty-seven parts of oxygen gas and seventy-three of azote or nitrogen gas, which are simply diffused together, but which, when combined, become nitrous acid. Water consists of eighty-six parts oxygen, and fourteen parts of hydrogen or inflammable air, in a state of combination. It is also probable, that much oxygen enters the composition of glass; as those materials which promote vitrification, contain so much of it, as minium and manganese; and that glass is hence a solid acid in the temperature of our atmosphere, as water is a fluid one.]
Next with illumined hands through prisms bright Pleased they untwist the sevenfold threads of light; Or, bent in pencils by the lens, convey To one bright point the silver hairs of Day. 20 Then mark how two electric streams conspire To form the resinous and vitreous fire; Beneath the waves the fierce Gymnotus arm, And give Torpedo his benumbing charm; Or, through Galvanic chain-work as they pass, Convert the kindling water into gas.
[Footnote: Two electric streams, l. 21. It is the opinion of some philosophers, that the electric ether consists of two kinds of fluids diffused together or combined; which are commonly known by the terms of positive and negative electricity, but are by these electricians called vitreous and resinous electricity. The electric shocks given by the torpedo and by the gymnotus, are supposed to be similar to those of the Galvanic pile, as they are produced in water. Which water is decomposed by the Galvanic pile and converted into oxygen and hydrogen gas; see Additional Note XII.
The magnetic ether may also be supposed to consist of two fluids, one of which attracts the needle, and the other repels it; and, perhaps, chemical affinities, and gravitation itself, may consist of two kinds of ether surrounding the particles of bodies, and may thence attract at one distance and repel at another; as appears when two insulated electrised balls are approached to each other, or when two small globules of mercury are pressed together.]
How at the poles opposing Ethers dwell, Attract the quivering needle, or repel. How Gravitation by immortal laws Surrounding matter to a centre draws; 30 How Heat, pervading oceans, airs, and lands, With force uncheck'd the mighty mass expands; And last how born in elemental strife Beam'd the first spark, and lighten'd into Life.
Now in sweet tones the inquiring Muse express'd Her ardent wish; and thus the Fair address'd. "Priestess of Nature! whose exploring sight Pierces the realms of Chaos and of Night; Of space unmeasured marks the first and last, Of endless time the present, future, past; 40 Immortal Guide! O, now with accents kind Give to my ear the progress of the Mind. How loves, and tastes, and sympathies commence From evanescent notices of sense? How from the yielding touch and rolling eyes The piles immense of human science rise?— With mind gigantic steps the puny Elf, And weighs and measures all things but himself!"
The indulgent Beauty hears the grateful Muse, Smiles on her pupil, and her task renews. 50 Attentive Nymphs in sparkling squadrons throng, And choral Virgins listen to the song; Pleased Fawns and Naiads crowd in silent rings, And hovering Cupids stretch their purple wings.
II. "FIRST the new actions of the excited sense, Urged by appulses from without, commence; With these exertions pain or pleasure springs, And forms perceptions of external things. Thus, when illumined by the solar beams, Yon waving woods, green lawns, and sparkling streams, In one bright point by rays converging lie 61 Plann'd on the moving tablet of the eye; The mind obeys the silver goads of light, And IRRITATION moves the nerves of sight.
[Footnote: And Irritation moves, l. 64. Irritation is an exertion or change of some extreme part of the sensorium residing in the muscles or organs of sense in consequence of the appulses of external bodies. The word perception includes both the action of the organ of sense in consequence of the impact of external objects and our attention to that action; that is, it expresses both the motion of the organ of sense, or idea, and the pain or pleasure that succeeds or accompanies it. Irritative ideas are those which are preceded by irritation, which is excited by objects external to the organs of sense: as the idea of that tree, which either I attend to, or which I shun in walking near it without attention. In the former case it is termed perception, in the latter it is termed simply an irritative idea.]
"These acts repeated rise from joys or pains, And swell Imagination's flowing trains; So in dread dreams amid the silent night Grim spectre-forms the shuddering sense affright; Or Beauty's idol-image, as it moves, Charms the closed eye with graces, smiles, and loves; 70 Each passing form the pausing heart delights, And young SENSATION every nerve excites.
[Footnote: And young Sensation, l. 72. Sensation is an exertion or change of the central parts of the sensorium or of the whole of it, beginning at some of those extreme parts of it which reside in the muscles or organs of sense. Sensitive ideas are those which are preceded by the sensation of pleasure or pain, are termed Imagination, and constitute our dreams and reveries.]
"Oft from sensation quick VOLITION springs, When pleasure thrills us, or when anguish stings; Hence Recollection calls with voice sublime Immersed ideas from the wrecks of Time, With potent charm in lucid trains displays Eventful stories of forgotten days. Hence Reason's efforts good with ill contrast, Compare the present, future, and the past; 80 Each passing moment, unobserved restrain The wild discordancies of Fancy's train; But leave uncheck'd the Night's ideal streams, Or, sacred Muses! your meridian dreams.
[Footnote: Quick Volition springs, l. 73. Volition is an exertion or change of the central parts of the sensorium, or of the whole of it terminating in some of those extreme parts of it which reside in the muscles and organs of sense. The vulgar use of the word memory is too unlimited for our purpose: those ideas which we voluntarily recall are here termed ideas of recollection, as when we will to repeat the alphabet backwards. And those ideas which are suggested to us by preceding ideas are here termed ideas of suggestion, as whilst we repeat the alphabet in the usual order; when by habits previously acquired B is suggested by A, and C by B, without any effort of deliberation. Reasoning is that operation of the sensorium by which we excite two or many tribes of ideas, and then reexcite the ideas in which they differ or correspond. If we determine this difference, it is called judgment; if we in vain endeavour to determine it, it is called doubting.
If we reexcite the ideas in which they differ, it is called distinguishing. If we reexcite those in which they correspond, it is called comparing.]
[Footnote: Each passing moment, l. 81. During our waking hours, we perpetually compare the passing trains of our ideas with the known system of nature, and reject those which are incongruous with it; this is explained in Zoonomia, Sect. XVII. 3. 7. and is there termed Intuitive Analogy. When we sleep, the faculty of volition ceases to act, and in consequence the uncompared trains of ideas become incongruous and form the farrago of our dreams; in which we never experience any surprise, or sense of novelty.]
"And last Suggestion's mystic power describes Ideal hosts arranged in trains or tribes. So when the Nymph with volant finger rings Her dulcet harp, and shakes the sounding strings; As with soft voice she trills the enamour'd song, Successive notes, unwill'd, the strain prolong; 90 The transient trains ASSOCIATION steers, And sweet vibrations charm the astonish'd ears.
[Footnote: Association steers, l. 91. Association is an exertion or change of some extreme part of the sensorium residing in the muscles and organs of sense in consequence of some antecedent or attendant fibrous contractions. Associate ideas, therefore, are those which are preceded by other ideas or muscular motions, without the intervention of irritation, sensation, or volition between them; these are also termed ideas of suggestion.]
"ON rapid feet o'er hills, and plains, and rocks, Speed the scared leveret and rapacious fox; On rapid pinions cleave the fields above The hawk descending, and escaping dove; With nicer nostril track the tainted ground The hungry vulture, and the prowling hound; Converge reflected light with nicer eye The midnight owl, and microscopic fly; 100 With finer ear pursue their nightly course The listening lion, and the alarmed horse.
"The branching forehead with diverging horns Crests the bold bull, the jealous stag adorns; Fierce rival boars with side-long fury wield The pointed tusk, and guard with shoulder-shield; Bounds the dread tiger o'er the affrighted heath Arm'd with sharp talons, and resistless teeth; The pouncing eagle bears in clinched claws The struggling lamb, and rends with ivory jaws; 110 The tropic eel, electric in his ire, Alarms the waves with unextinguish'd fire; The fly of night illumes his airy way, And seeks with lucid lamp his sleeping prey; Fierce on his foe the poisoning serpent springs, And insect armies dart their venom'd stings.
[Footnote: The branching forehead, l. 103. The peculiarities of the shapes of animals which distinguish them from each other, are enumerated in Zoonomia, Sect. XXXIX. 4. 8. on Generation, and are believed to have been gradually formed from similar living fibres, and are varied by reproduction. Many of these parts of animals are there shown to have arisen from their three great desires of lust, hunger, and security.]
[Footnote: The tropic eel, l. 111. Gymnotus electricus.]
[Footnote: The fly of night, l. 113. Lampyris noctiluca. Fire-fly.]
"Proud Man alone in wailing weakness born, No horns protect him, and no plumes adorn; No finer powers of nostril, ear, or eye, Teach the young Reasoner to pursue or fly.— 120 Nerved with fine touch above the bestial throngs, The hand, first gift of Heaven! to man belongs; Untipt with claws the circling fingers close, With rival points the bending thumbs oppose, Trace the nice lines of Form with sense refined, And clear ideas charm the thinking mind. Whence the fine organs of the touch impart Ideal figure, source of every art; Time, motion, number, sunshine or the storm, But mark varieties in Nature's form. 130
[Footnote: The hand, first gift of Heaven, l. 122. The human species in some of their sensations are much inferior to animals, yet the accuracy of the sense of touch, which they possess in so eminent a degree, gives them a great superiority of understanding; as is well observed by the ingenious Mr. Buffon. The extremities of other animals terminate in horns, and hoofs, and claws, very unfit for the sensation of touch; whilst the human hand is finely adapted to encompass its object with this organ of sense. Those animals who have clavicles or collar-bones, and thence use their forefeet like hands, as cats, squirrels, monkeys, are more ingenious than other quadrupeds, except the elephant, who has a fine sense at the extremity of his proboscis; and many insects from the possessing finer organs of touch have greater ingenuity, as spiders, bees, wasps.]
[Footnote: Trace the nice lines of form, l. 125. When the idea of solidity is excited a part of the extensive organ of touch is compressed by some external body, and this part of the sensorium so compressed exactly resembles in figure the figure of the body that compressed it. Hence when we acquire the idea of solidity, we acquire at the same time the idea of figure; and this idea of figure, or motion of a part of the organ of touch, exactly resembles in its figure the figure of the body that occasions it; and thus exactly acquaints us with this property of the external world.
Now, as the whole universe with all its parts possesses a certain form or figure, if any part of it moves, that form or figure of the whole is varied. Hence, as motion is no other than a perpetual variation of figure, our idea of motion is also a real resemblance of the motion that produced it.
Hence arises the certainty of the mathematical sciences, as they explain these properties of bodies, which are exactly resembled by our ideas of them, whilst we are obliged to collect almost all our other knowledge from experiment; that is, by observing the effects exerted by one body upon another.]
"Slow could the tangent organ wander o'er The rock-built mountain, and the winding shore; No apt ideas could the pigmy mite, Or embryon emmet to the touch excite; But as each mass the solar ray reflects, The eye's clear glass the transient beams collects; Bends to their focal point the rays that swerve, And paints the living image on the nerve. So in some village-barn, or festive hall The spheric lens illumes the whiten'd wall; 140 O'er the bright field successive figures fleet, And motley shadows dance along the sheet.— Symbol of solid forms is colour'd light, And the mute language of the touch is sight.
[Footnote: The mute language of the touch, l. 144. Our eyes observe a difference of colour, or of shade, in the prominences and depressions of objects, and that those shades uniformly vary when the sense of touch observes any variation. Hence when the retina becomes stimulated by colours or shades of light in a certain form, as in a circular spot, we know by experience that this is a sign that a tangible body is before us; and that its figure is resembled by the miniature figure of the part of the organ of vision that is thus stimulated.
Here whilst the stimulated part of the retina resembles exactly the visible figure of the whole in miniature, the various kinds of stimuli from different colours mark the visible figures of the minuter parts; and by habit we instantly recall the tangible figures.
So that though our visible ideas resemble in miniature the outline of the figure of coloured bodies, in other respects they serve only as a language, which by acquired associations introduce the tangible ideas of bodies. Hence it is, that this sense is so readily deceived by the art of the painter to our amusement and instruction. The reader will find much very curious knowledge on this subject in Bishop Berkeley's Essay on Vision, a work of great ingenuity.]
"HENCE in Life's portico starts young Surprise With step retreating, and expanded eyes; The virgin, Novelty, whose radiant train Soars o'er the clouds, or sinks beneath the main, With sweetly-mutable seductive charms Thrills the young sense, the tender heart alarms. 150 Then Curiosity with tracing hands And meeting lips the lines of form demands, Buoy'd on light step, o'er ocean, earth, and sky, Rolls the bright mirror of her restless eye. While in wild groups tumultuous Passions stand, And Lust and Hunger head the Motley band; Then Love and Rage succeed, and Hope and Fear; And nameless Vices close the gloomy rear; Or young Philanthropy with voice divine Convokes the adoring Youth to Virtue's shrine; 160 Who with raised eye and pointing finger leads To truths celestial, and immortal deeds.
[Footnote: Starts young Surprise, l. 145. Surprise is occasioned by the sudden interruption of the usual trains of our ideas by any violent stimulus from external objects, as from the unexpected discharge of a pistol, and hence does not exist in our dreams, because our external senses are closed or inirritable. The fetus in the womb must experience many sensations, as of resistance, figure, fluidity, warmth, motion, rest, exertion, taste; and must consequently possess trains both of waking and sleeping ideas. Surprise must therefore be strongly excited at its nativity, as those trains of ideas must instantly be dissevered by the sudden and violent sensations occasioned by the dry and cold atmosphere, the hardness of external bodies, light, sound, and odours; which are accompanied with pleasure or pain according to their quantity or intensity.
As some of these sensations become familiar by repetition, other objects not previously attended to present themselves, and produce the idea of novelty, which is a less degree of surprise, and like that is not perceived in our dreams, though for another reason; because in sleep we possess no voluntary power to compare our trains of ideas with our previous knowledge of nature, and do not therefore perceive their difference by intuitive analogy from what usually occurs.
As the novelty of our ideas is generally attended with pleasurable sensation, from this arises Curiosity, or a desire of examining a variety of objects, hoping to find novelty, and the pleasure consequent to this degree of surprise; see Additional Note VII. 3.]
[Footnote: And meeting lips, l. 152. Young children put small bodies into their mouths, when they are satiated with food, as well as when they are hungry, not with design to taste them, but use their lips as an organ of touch to distinguish the shape of them. Puppies, whose toes are terminated with nails, and who do not much use their forefeet as hands, seem to have no other means of acquiring a knowledge of the forms of external bodies, and are therefore perpetually playing with things by taking them between their lips.]
III. "As the pure language of the Sight commands The clear ideas furnish'd by the hands; Beauty's fine forms attract our wondering eyes, And soft alarms the pausing heart surprise. Warm from its cell the tender infant born Feels the cold chill of Life's aerial morn; Seeks with spread hands the bosoms velvet orbs, With closing lips the milky fount absorbs; 170 And, as compress'd the dulcet streams distil, Drinks warmth and fragrance from the living rill; Eyes with mute rapture every waving line, Prints with adoring kiss the Paphian shrine, And learns erelong, the perfect form confess'd, IDEAL BEAUTY from its Mother's breast.
[Footnote: Seeks with spread hands, l. 169. These eight beautiful lines are copied from Mr. Bilsborrow's Address prefixed to Zoonomia, and are translated from that work; Sect. XVI. 6.]
[Footnote: Ideal Beauty, l. 176. Sentimental Love, as distinguished from the animal passion of that name, with which it is frequently accompanied, consists in the desire or sensation of beholding, embracing, and saluting a beautiful object.
The characteristic of beauty therefore is that it is the object of love; and though many other objects are in common language called beautiful, yet they are only called so metaphorically, and ought to be termed agreeable. A Grecian temple may give us the pleasurable idea of sublimity, a Gothic temple may give us the pleasurable idea of variety, and a modern house the pleasurable idea of utility; music and poetry may inspire our love by association of ideas; but none of these, except metaphorically, can be termed beautiful, as we have no wish to embrace or salute them.
Our perception of beauty consists in our recognition by the sense of vision of those objects, first, which have before inspired our love by the pleasure, which they have afforded to many of our senses; as to our sense of warmth, of touch, of smell, of taste, hunger and thirst; and, secondly, which bear any analogy of form to such objects.]
"Now on swift wheels descending like a star Alights young EROS from his radiant car; On angel-wings attendant Graces move, And hail the God of SENTIMENTAL LOVE. 180 Earth at his feet extends her flowery bed, And bends her silver blossoms round his head; Dark clouds dissolve, the warring winds subside. And smiling ocean calms his tossing tide, O'er the bright morn meridian lustres play, And Heaven salutes him with a flood of day.
[Footnote: Alights young Eros, l. 178. There were two deities of Love belonging to the heathen mythology, the one said to be celestial, and the other terrestrial. Aristophanes says, "Sable-winged Night produced an egg, from which sprung up like a blossom Eros, the lovely, the desirable, with his glossy golden wings." See Botanic Garden, Canto I. l. 412. Note. The other deity of Love, Cupido, seems of much later date, as he is not mentioned in the works of Homer, where there were so many apt situations to have introduced him.]
[Footnote: Earth at his feet, l. 181.
Te, Dea, te fugiunt venti, te nubila coeli, Adventumque tuum; tibi suaves daedala tellus Submittit flores; tibi rident aequora ponti; Placatumque nitet diffuso lumine coelum. LUCRET.]
"Warm as the sun-beam, pure as driven snows, The enamour'd GOD for young DIONE glows; Drops the still tear, with sweet attention sighs, And woos the Goddess with adoring eyes; 190 Marks her white neck beneath the gauze's fold, Her ivory shoulders, and her locks of gold; Drinks with mute ecstacy the transient glow, Which warms and tints her bosom's rising snow. With holy kisses wanders o'er her charms, And clasps the Beauty in Platonic arms; Or if the dewy hands of Sleep, unbid, O'er her blue eye-balls close the lovely lid, Watches each nascent smile, and fleeting grace, That plays in day-dreams o'er her blushing face; 200 Counts the fine mazes of the curls, that break Round her fair ear, and shade her damask cheek; Drinks the pure fragrance of her breath, and sips With tenderest touch the roses of her lips;— O'er female hearts with chaste seduction reigns, And binds SOCIETY in silken chains.
IV. "IF the wide eye the wavy lawns explores, The bending woodlands, or the winding shores, Hills, whose green sides with soft protuberance rise, Or the blue concave of the vaulted skies;— 210 Or scans with nicer gaze the pearly swell Of spiral volutes round the twisted shell; Or undulating sweep, whose graceful turns Bound the smooth surface of Etrurian urns, When on fine forms the waving lines impress'd Give the nice curves, which swell the female breast; The countless joys the tender Mother pours Round the soft cradle of our infant hours, In lively trains of unextinct delight Rise in our bosoms recognized by sight; 220 Fond Fancy's eye recalls the form divine, And TASTE sits smiling upon Beauty's shrine.
[Footnote: The wavy lawns, l. 207. When the babe, soon after it is born into this cold world, is applied to its mother's bosom; its sense of perceiving warmth is first agreeably affected; next its sense of smell is delighted with the odour of her milk; then its taste is gratified by the flavour of it; afterwards the appetites of hunger and of thirst afford pleasure by the possession of their objects, and by the subsequent digestion of the aliment; and lastly, the sense of touch is delighted by the softness and smoothness of the milky fountain, the source of such variety of happiness.
All these various kinds of pleasure at length become associated with the form of the mother's breast; which the infant embraces with its hands, presses with its lips, and watches with its eyes; and thus acquires more accurate ideas of the form of its mother's bosom, than of the odour and flavour or warmth, which it perceives by its other senses. And hence at our maturer years, when any object of vision is presented to us, which by its waving or spiral lines bears any similitude to the form of the female bosom, whether it be found in a landscape with soft gradations of rising and descending surface, or in the forms of some antique vases, or in other works of the pencil or the chisel, we feel a general glow of delight, which seems to influence all our senses; and if the object be not too large, we experience an attraction to embrace it with our arms, and to salute it with our lips, as we did in our early infancy the bosom of our mother. And thus we find, according to the ingenious idea of Hogarth, that the waving lines of beauty were originally taken from the temple of Venus.]
"Where Egypt's pyramids gigantic stand, And stretch their shadows o'er the shuddering sand; Or where high rocks o'er ocean's dashing floods Wave high in air their panoply of woods; Admiring TASTE delights to stray beneath With eye uplifted, and forgets to breathe; Or, as aloft his daring footsteps climb, Crests their high summits with his arm sublime. 230
[Footnote: With his arm sublime, l. 230. Objects of taste have been generally divided into the beautiful, the sublime, and the new; and lately to these have been added the picturesque. The beautiful so well explained in Hogarth's analysis of beauty, consists of curved lines and smooth surfaces, as expressed in the preceding note; any object larger than usual, as a very large temple or a very large mountain, gives us the idea of sublimity; with which is often confounded the terrific, and the melancholic: what is now termed picturesque includes objects, which are principally neither sublime nor beautiful, but which by their variety and intricacy joined with a due degree of regularity or uniformity convey to the mind an agreeable sentiment of novelty. Many other agreeable sentiments may be excited by visible objects, thus to the sublime and beautiful may be added the terrific, tragic, melancholic, artless, &c. while novelty superinduces a charm upon them all. See Additional Note XIII.]
"Where mouldering columns mark the lingering wreck Of Thebes, Palmyra, Babylon, Balbec; The prostrate obelisk, or shatter'd dome, Uprooted pedestal, and yawning tomb, On loitering steps reflective TASTE surveys With folded arms and sympathetic gaze; Charm'd with poetic Melancholy treads O'er ruin'd towns and desolated meads; Or rides sublime on Time's expanded wings, And views the fate of ever-changing things. 240
[Footnote: Poetic melancholy treads, l. 237. The pleasure arising from the contemplation of the ruins of ancient grandeur or of ancient happiness, and here termed poetic melancholy, arises from a combination of the painful idea of sorrow with the pleasurable idea of the grandeur or happiness of past times; and becomes very interesting to us by fixing our attention more strongly on that grandeur and happiness, as the passion of Pity mentioned in the succeeding note is a combination of the painful idea of sorrow with the pleasurable one of beauty, or of virtue.]
"When Beauty's streaming eyes her woes express, Or Virtue braves unmerited distress; Love sighs in sympathy, with pain combined, And new-born Pity charms the kindred mind; The enamour'd Sorrow every cheek bedews, And TASTE impassion'd woos the tragic Muse.
[Footnote: The tragic Muse, l. 246. Why we are delighted with the scenical representations of Tragedy, which draw tears from our eyes, has been variously explained by different writers. The same distressful circumstance attending an ugly or wicked person affects us with grief or disgust; but when distress occurs to a beauteous or virtuous person, the pleasurable idea of beauty or of virtue becomes mixed with the painful one of sorrow and the passion of Pity is produced, which is a combination of love or esteem with sorrow; and becomes highly interesting to us by fixing our attention more intensely on the beauteous or virtuous person.
Other distressful scenes have been supposed to give pleasure to the spectator from exciting a comparative idea of his own happiness, as when a shipwreck is viewed by a person safe on shore, as mentioned by Lucretius, L. 3. But these dreadful situations belong rather to the terrible, or the horrid, than to the tragic; and may be objects of curiosity from their novelty, but not of Taste, and must suggest much more pain than pleasure.]
"The rush-thatch'd cottage on the purple moor, Where ruddy children frolic round the door, The moss-grown antlers of the aged oak, The shaggy locks that fringe the colt unbroke, 250 The bearded goat with nimble eyes, that glare Through the long tissue of his hoary hair;— As with quick foot he climbs some ruin'd wall, And crops the ivy, which prevents its fall;— With rural charms the tranquil mind delight, And form a picture to the admiring sight. While TASTE with pleasure bends his eye surprised In modern days at Nature unchastised.
[Footnote: Nature unchastised, l. 258. In cities or their vicinity, and even in the cultivated parts of the country we rarely see undisguised nature; the fields are ploughed, the meadows mown, the shrubs planted in rows for hedges, the trees deprived of their lower branches, and the animals, as horses, dogs, and sheep, are mutilated in respect to their tails or ears; such is the useful or ill-employed activity of mankind! all which alterations add to the formality of the soil, plants, trees, or animals; whence when natural objects are occasionally presented to us, as an uncultivated forest and its wild inhabitants, we are not only amused with greater variety of form, but are at the same time enchanted by the charm of novelty, which is a less degree of Surprise, already spoken of in note on l. 145 of this Canto.]
"The GENIUS-FORM, on silver slippers born, With fairer dew-drops gems the rising morn; 260 Sheds o'er meridian skies a softer light, And decks with brighter pearls the brow of night; With finer blush the vernal blossom glows, With sweeter breath enamour'd Zephyr blows, The limpid streams with gentler murmurs pass, And gayer colours tinge the watery glass, Charm'd round his steps along the enchanted groves Flit the fine forms of Beauties, Graces, Loves.
V. "Alive, each moment of the transient hour, When Rest accumulates sensorial power, 270 The impatient Senses, goaded to contract, Forge new ideas, changing as they act; And, in long streams dissever'd, or concrete In countless tribes, the fleeting forms repeat. Which rise excited in Volition's trains, Or link the sparkling rings of Fancy's chains; Or, as they flow from each translucent source, Pursue Association's endless course.
[Footnote: When rest accumulates, l. 270. The accumulation of the spirit of animation, when those parts of the system rest, which are usually in motion, produces a disagreeable sensation. Whence the pain of cold and of hunger, and the irksomeness of a continued attitude, and of an indolent life: and hence the propensity to action in those confined animals, which have been accustomed to activity, as is seen in the motions of a squirrel in a cage; which uses perpetual exertion to exhaust a part of its accumulated sensorial power. This is one source of our general propensity to action; another perhaps arises from our curiosity or expectation of novelty mentioned in the note on l. 145. of this canto.
But the immediate cause of our propensity to imitation above that of other animals arises from the greater facility, with which by the sense of touch we acquire the ideas of the outlines of objects, and afterwards in consequence by the sense of sight; this seems to have been observed by Aristotle, who calls man, "the imitative animal;" see Zoonomia, Vol. I. Sect. XXII.]
"Hence when the inquiring hands with contact fine Trace on hard forms the circumscribing line; 280 Which then the language of the rolling eyes From distant scenes of earth and heaven supplies; Those clear ideas of the touch and sight Rouse the quick sense to anguish or delight; Whence the fine power of IMITATION springs, And apes the outlines of external things; With ceaseless action to the world imparts All moral virtues, languages, and arts. First the charm'd Mind mechanic powers collects, Means for some end, and causes of effects; 290 Then learns from other Minds their joys and fears, Contagious smiles and sympathetic tears.
[Footnote: All moral virtues, l. 288. See the sequel of this canto l. 453 on sympathy; and l. 331 on language; and the subsequent lines on the arts of painting and architecture.]
"What one fine stimulated Sense discerns, Another Sense by IMITATION learns.— So in the graceful dance the step sublime Learns from the ear the concordance of Time. So, when the pen of some young artist prints Recumbent Nymphs in TITIAN'S living tints; The glowing limb, fair cheek, and flowing hair, Respiring bosom, and seductive air, 300 He justly copies with enamour'd sigh From Beauty's image pictured on his eye.
[Footnote: Another sense, l. 294. As the part of the organs of touch or of sight, which is stimulated into action by a tangible or visible object, must resemble in figure at least the figure of that object, as it thus constitutes an idea; it may be said to imitate the figure of that object; and thus imitation may be esteemed coeval with the existence both of man and other animals: but this would confound perception with imitation; which latter is better defined from the actions of one sense copying those of another.]
"Thus when great ANGELO in wondering Rome Fix'd the vast pillars of Saint Peter's dome, Rear'd rocks on rocks sublime, and hung on high A new Pantheon in the affrighted sky. Each massy pier, now join'd and now aloof, The figured architraves, and vaulted roof, Ailes, whose broad curves gigantic ribs sustain, Where holy echoes chant the adoring strain; 310 The central altar, sacred to the Lord, Admired by Sages, and by Saints ador'd, Whose brazen canopy ascends sublime On spiral columns unafraid of Time, Were first by Fancy in ethereal dyes Plann'd on the rolling tablets of his eyes; And his true hand with imitation fine Traced from his Retina the grand design.
[Footnote: Thus when great Angelo, l. 303. The origin of this propensity to imitation has not been deduced from any known principle; when any action presents itself to the view of a child, as of whetting a knife, or threading a needle; the parts of this action in respect of time, motion, figure, are imitated by parts of the retina of his eye; to perform this action therefore with his hands is easier to him than to invent any new action; because it consists in repeating with another set of fibres, viz. with the moving muscles, what he had just performed by some parts of the retina; just as in dancing we transfer the times of the motions from the actions of the auditory nerves to the muscles of the limbs. Imitation therefore consists of repetition, which is the easiest kind of animal action; as the ideas or motions become presently associated together; which adds to the facility of their production; as shown in Zoonomia, Vol. I. Sect. XXII. 2.
It should be added, that as our ideas, when we perceive external objects, are believed to consist in the actions of the immediate organs of sense in consequence of the stimulus of those objects; so when we think of external objects, our ideas are believed to consist in the repetitions of the actions of the immediate organs of sense, excited by the other sensorial powers of volition, sensation, or association.]
"The Muse of MIMICRY in every age With silent language charms the attentive stage; 320 The Monarch's stately step, and tragic pause, The Hero bleeding in his country's cause, O'er her fond child the dying Mother's tears, The Lover's ardor, and the Virgin's fears; The tittering Nymph, that tries her comic task, Bounds on the scene, and peeps behind her mask, The Punch and Harlequin, and graver throng, That shake the theatre with dance and song, With endless trains of Angers, Loves, and Mirths, Owe to the Muse of Mimicry their births. 330
[Footnote: The Muse of Mimicry, l. 319. Much of the pleasure received from the drawings of flowers finely finished, or of portraits, is derived from their imitation or resemblance of the objects or persons which they represent. The same occurs in the pleasure we receive from mimicry on the stage; we are surprised at the accuracy of its enacted resemblance. Some part of the pleasure received from architecture, as when we contemplate the internal structure of gothic temples, as of King's College chapel in Cambridge, or of Lincoln Cathedral, may arise also from their imitation or resemblance of those superb avenues of large trees, which were formerly appropriated to religious ceremonies.]
"Hence to clear images of form belong The sculptor's statue, and the poet's song, The painter's landscape, and the builder's plan, And IMITATION marks the mind of Man.
[Footnote: Imitation marks, l. 334. Many other curious instances of one part of the animal system imitating another part of it, as in some contagious diseases; and also of some animals imitating each other, are given in Zoonomia, Vol. I. Sect. XXII. 3. To which may be added, that this propensity to imitation not only appears in the actions of children, but in all the customs and fashions of the world; many thousands tread in the beaten paths of others, who precede or accompany them, for one who traverses regions of his own discovery.]
VI. "WHEN strong desires or soft sensations move The astonish'd Intellect to rage or love; Associate tribes of fibrous motions rise, Flush the red cheek, or light the laughing eyes. Whence ever-active Imitation finds The ideal trains, that pass in kindred minds; 340 Her mimic arts associate thoughts excite And the first LANGUAGE enters at the sight.
[Footnote: And the first Language, l. 342. There are two ways by which we become acquainted with the passions of others: first, by having observed the effects of them, as of fear or anger, on our own bodies, we know at sight when others are under the influence of these affections. So children long before they can speak, or understand the language of their parents, may be frightened by an angry countenance, or soothed by smiles and blandishments.
Secondly, when we put ourselves into the attitude that any passion naturally occasions, we soon in some degree acquire that passion; hence when those that scold indulge themselves in loud oaths and violent actions of the arms, they increase their anger by the mode of expressing themselves; and, on the contrary, the counterfeited smile of pleasure in disagreeable company soon brings along with it a portion of the reality, as is well illustrated by Mr. Burke. (Essay on the Sublime and Beautiful.)
These are natural signs by which we understand each other, and on this slender basis is built all human language. For without some natural signs no artificial ones could have been invented or understood, as is very ingeniously observed by Dr. Reid. (Inquiry into the Human Mind.)]
"Thus jealous quails or village-cocks inspect Each other's necks with stiffen'd plumes erect; Smit with the wordless eloquence, they know The rival passion of the threatening foe. So when the famish'd wolves at midnight howl, Fell serpents hiss, or fierce hyenas growl; Indignant Lions rear their bristling mail, And lash their sides with undulating tail. 350 Or when the Savage-Man with clenched fist Parades, the scowling champion of the list; With brandish'd arms, and eyes that roll to know Where first to fix the meditated blow; Association's mystic power combines Internal passions with external signs.
"From these dumb gestures first the exchange began Of viewless thought in bird, and beast, and man; And still the stage by mimic art displays Historic pantomime in modern days; 360 And hence the enthusiast orator affords Force to the feebler eloquence of words.
"Thus the first LANGUAGE, when we frown'd or smiled, Rose from the cradle, Imitation's child; Next to each thought associate sound accords, And forms the dulcet symphony of words; The tongue, the lips articulate; the throat With soft vibration modulates the note; Love, pity, war, the shout, the song, the prayer Form quick concussions of elastic air. 370
"Hence the first accents bear in airy rings The vocal symbols of ideal things, Name each nice change appulsive powers supply To the quick sense of touch, or ear or eye. Or in fine traits abstracted forms suggest Of Beauty, Wisdom, Number, Motion, Rest; Or, as within reflex ideas move, Trace the light steps of Reason, Rage, or Love. The next new sounds adjunctive thoughts recite, As hard, odorous, tuneful, sweet, or white. 380 The next the fleeting images select Of action, suffering, causes and effect; Or mark existence, with the march sublime O'er earth and ocean of recording TIME.
[Footnote: Hence the first accents, l. 371. Words were originally the signs or names of individual ideas; but in all known languages many of them by changing their terminations express more than one idea, as in the cases of nouns, and the moods and tenses of verbs. Thus a whip suggests a single idea of that instrument; but "to whip," suggests an idea of action, joined with that of the instrument, and is then called a verb; and "to be whipped," suggests an idea of being acted upon or suffering. Thus in most languages two ideas are suggested by one word by changing its termination; as amor, love; amare, to love; amari, to be loved.
Nouns are the names of the ideas of things, first as they are received by the stimulus of objects, or as they are afterwards repeated; secondly, they are names of more abstracted ideas, which do not suggest at the same time the external objects, by which they were originally excited; or thirdly, of the operations of our minds, which are termed reflex ideas by metaphysical writers; or lastly, they are the names of our ideas of parts or properties of objects; and are termed by grammarians nouns adjective.
Verbs are also in reality names of our ideas of things, or nouns, with the addition of another idea to them, as of acting or suffering; or of more than one other annexed idea, as of time, and also of existence. These with the numerous abbreviations, so well illustrated by Mr. Horne Tooke in his Diversions of Purley, make up the general theory of language, which consists of the symbols of ideas represented by vocal or written words; or by parts of those words, as their terminations; or by their disposition in respect to their order or succession; as further explained in Additional Note XIV.]
"The GIANT FORM on Nature's centre stands, And waves in ether his unnumber'd hands; Whirls the bright planets in their silver spheres, And the vast sun round other systems steers; Till the last trump amid the thunder's roar Sound the dread Sentence "TIME SHALL BE NO MORE!"
"Last steps Abbreviation, bold and strong, 391 And leads the volant trains of words along; With sweet loquacity to HERMES springs, And decks his forehead and his feet with wings.
VII. "As the soft lips and pliant tongue are taught With other minds to interchange the thought; And sound, the symbol of the sense, explains In parted links the long ideal trains; From clear conceptions of external things The facile power of Recollection springs. 400
[Footnote: In parted links, l. 398. As our ideas consist of successive trains of the motions, or changes of figure, of the extremities of the nerves of one or more of our senses, as of the optic or auditory nerves; these successive trains of motion, or configuration, are in common life divided into many links, to each of which a word or name is given, and it is called an idea. This chain of ideas may be broken into more or fewer links, or divided in different parts of it, by the customs of different people. Whence the meanings of the words of one language cannot always be exactly expressed by those of another; and hence the acquirement of different languages in their infancy may affect the modes of thinking and reasoning of whole nations, or of different classes of society; as the words of them do not accurately suggest the same ideas, or parts of ideal trains; a circumstance which has not been sufficiently analysed.]
"Whence REASON'S empire o'er the world presides, And man from brute, and man from man divides; Compares and measures by imagined lines Ellipses, circles, tangents, angles, sines; Repeats with nice libration, and decrees In what each differs, and in what agrees; With quick Volitions unfatigued selects Means for some end, and causes of effects; All human science worth the name imparts, And builds on Nature's base the works of Arts. 410
[Footnote: Whence Reason's empire, l. 401. The facility of the use of the voluntary power, which is owing to the possession of the clear ideas acquired by our superior sense of touch, and afterwards of vision, distinguishes man from brutes, and has given him the empire of the world, with the power of improving nature by the exertions of art.
Reasoning is that operation of the sensorium by which we excite two or many tribes of ideas, and then reexcite the ideas in which they differ or correspond. If we determine this difference, it is called judgment; if we in vain endeavour to determine it, it is called doubting.
If we reexcite the ideas in which they differ, it is called distinguishing. If we reexcite those in which they correspond, it is called comparing.]
"The Wasp, fine architect, surrounds his domes With paper-foliage, and suspends his combs; Secured from frost the Bee industrious dwells, And fills for winter all her waxen cells; The cunning Spider with adhesive line Weaves his firm net immeasurably fine; The Wren, when embryon eggs her cares engross, Seeks the soft down, and lines the cradling moss; Conscious of change the Silkworm-Nymphs begin Attach'd to leaves their gluten-threads to spin; 420 Then round and round they weave with circling heads Sphere within Sphere, and form their silken beds. —Say, did these fine volitions first commence From clear ideas of the tangent sense; From sires to sons by imitation caught, Or in dumb language by tradition taught? Or did they rise in some primeval site Of larva-gnat, or microscopic mite; And with instructive foresight still await On each vicissitude of insect-state?— 430 Wise to the present, nor to future blind, They link the reasoning reptile to mankind! —Stoop, selfish Pride! survey thy kindred forms, Thy brother Emmets, and thy sister Worms!
[Footnote: The Wasp, fine architect, l. 411. Those animals which possess a better sense of touch are, in general, more ingenious than others. Those which have claviculae, or collar-bones, and thence use the forefeet as hands, as the monkey, squirrel, rat, are more ingenious in seizing their prey or escaping from danger. And the ingenuity of the elephant appears to arise from the sense of touch at the extremity of his proboscis, which has a prominence on one side of its cavity like a thumb to close against the other side of it, by which I have seen him readily pick up a shilling which was thrown amongst the straw he stood upon. Hence the excellence of the sense of touch in many insects seems to have given them wonderful ingenuity so as to equal or even excel mankind in some of their arts and discoveries; many of which may have been acquired in situations previous to their present ones, as the great globe itself, and all that it inhabit, appear to be in a perpetual state of mutation and improvement; see Additional Note IX.]
"Thy potent acts, VOLITION, still attend The means of pleasure to secure the end; To express his wishes and his wants design'd Language, the means, distinguishes Mankind; For future works in Art's ingenious schools His hands unwearied form and finish tools; 440 He toils for money future bliss to share, And shouts to Heaven his mercenary prayer. Sweet Hope delights him, frowning Fear alarms, And Vice and Virtue court him to their arms.
[Footnote: Thy potent acts, Volition, l. 435. It was before observed, how much the superior accuracy of our sense of touch contributes to increase our knowledge; but it is the greater energy and activity of the power of volition, that marks mankind, and has given them the empire of the world.
There is a criterion by which we may distinguish our voluntary acts or thoughts from those that are excited by our sensations: "The former are always employed about the means to acquire pleasurable objects, or to avoid painful ones; while the latter are employed about the possession of those that are already in our power."
The ideas and actions of brutes, like those of children, are almost perpetually produced by their present pleasures or their present pains; and they seldom busy themselves about the means of procuring future bliss, or of avoiding future misery.
Whilst the acquiring of languages, the making of tools, and the labouring for money, which are all only the means of procuring pleasure; and the praying to the Deity, as another means to procure happiness, are characteristic of human nature.]
"Unenvied eminence, in Nature's plan Rise the reflective faculties of Man! Labour to Rest the thinking Few prefer! Know but to mourn! and reason but to err!— In Eden's groves, the cradle of the world, Bloom'd a fair tree with mystic flowers unfurl'd; 450 On bending branches, as aloft it sprung, Forbid to taste, the fruit of KNOWLEDGE hung; Flow'd with sweet Innocence the tranquil hours, And Love and Beauty warm'd the blissful bowers. Till our deluded Parents pluck'd, erelong, The tempting fruit, and gather'd Right and Wrong; Whence Good and Evil, as in trains they pass, Reflection imaged on her polish'd glass; And Conscience felt, for blood by Hunger spilt, The pains of shame, of sympathy, and guilt! 460
[Footnote: And gather'd Right and Wrong, l. 456. Some philosophers have believed that the acquisition of knowledge diminishes the happiness of the possessor; an opinion which seems to have been inculcated by the history of our first parents, who are said to have become miserable from eating of the tree of knowledge. But as the foresight and the power of mankind are much increased by their voluntary exertions in the acquirement of knowledge, they may undoubtedly avoid many sources of evil, and procure many sources of good; and yet possess the pleasures of sense, or of imagination, as extensively as the brute or the savage.]
VIII. "LAST, as observant Imitation stands, Turns her quick glance, and brandishes her hands, With mimic acts associate thoughts excites, And storms the soul with sorrows or delights; Life's shadowy scenes are brighten'd and refin'd, And soft emotions mark the feeling mind.
[Footnote: And soft emotions, l. 466. From our aptitude to imitation arises what is generally understood by the word sympathy, so well explained by Dr. Smith of Glasgow. Thus the appearance of a cheerful countenance gives us pleasure, and of a melancholy one makes us sorrowful. Yawning, and sometimes vomiting, are thus propagated by sympathy; and some people of delicate fibres, at the presence of a spectacle of misery, have felt pain in the same parts of their bodies, that were diseased or mangled in the object they saw.
The effect of this powerful agent in the moral world, is the foundation of all our intellectual sympathies with the pains and pleasures of others, and is in consequence the source of all our virtues. For in what consists our sympathy with the miseries or with the joys of our fellow creatures, but in an involuntary excitation of ideas in some measure similar or imitative of those which we believe to exist in the minds of the persons whom we commiserate or congratulate!]
"The Seraph, SYMPATHY, from Heaven descends, And bright o'er earth his beamy forehead bends; On Man's cold heart celestial ardor flings, And showers affection from his sparkling wings; 470 Rolls o'er the world his mild benignant eye, Hears the lone murmur, drinks the whisper'd sigh; Lifts the closed latch of pale Misfortune's door, Opes the clench'd hand of Avarice to the poor, Unbars the prison, liberates the slave, Sheds his soft sorrows o'er the untimely grave, Points with uplifted hand to realms above, And charms the world with universal love.
"O'er the thrill'd frame his words assuasive steal, And teach the selfish heart what others feel; 480 With sacred truth each erring thought control, Bind sex to sex, and mingle soul with soul; From heaven, He cried, descends the moral plan, And gives Society to savage man.
"High on yon scroll, inscribed o'er Nature's shrine, Live in bright characters the words divine. "IN LIFE'S DISASTROUS SCENES TO OTHERS DO, WHAT YOU WOULD WISH BY OTHERS DONE TO YOU." —Winds! wide o'er earth the sacred law convey, Ye Nations, hear it! and ye Kings, obey! 490
[Footnote: High on yon scroll, l. 485. The famous sentence of Socrates "Know thyself," so celebrated by writers of antiquity, and said by them to have descended from Heaven, however wise it may be, seems to be rather of a selfish nature; and the author of it might have added "Know also other people." But the sacred maxims of the author of Christianity, "Do as you would be done by," and "Love your neighbour as yourself," include all our duties of benevolence and morality; and, if sincerely obeyed by all nations, would a thousandfold multiply the present happiness of mankind.]
"Unbreathing wonder hush'd the adoring throng, Froze the broad eye, and chain'd the silent tongue; Mute was the wail of Want, and Misery's cry, And grateful Pity wiped her lucid eye; Peace with sweet voice the Seraph-form address'd, And Virtue clasp'd him to her throbbing breast."
END OF CANTO III.
ORIGIN OF SOCIETY.
OF GOOD AND EVIL.
I. Few affected by Sympathy 1. Cruelty of War 11. Of brute animals, Wolf, Eagle, Lamb, Dove, Owl, Nightingale 17. Of insects, Oestrus, Ichneumon, Libellula 29. Wars of Vegetables 41. Of fish, the Shark, Crocodile, Whale 55. The World a Slaughter-house 66. Pains from Defect and from Excess of Stimulus 71. Ebriety and Superstition 77. Mania 89. Association 93. Avarice, Imposture, Ambition, Envy, Jealousy 97. Floods, Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Famine 109. Pestilence 117. Pains from Sympathy 123. II. Good outbalances Evil 135. Life combines inanimate Matter, and produces happiness by Irritation 145. As in viewing a Landscape 159. In hearing Music 171. By Sensation or Fancy in Dreams 183. The Patriot and the Nun 197. Howard, Moira, Burdett 205. By Volition 223. Newton, Herschel 233. Archimedes, Savery 241. Isis, Arkwright 253. Letters and Printing 265. Freedom of the Press 273. By Association 291. Ideas of Contiguity, Resemblance, and of Cause and Effect 299. Antinous 319. Cecilia 329. III. Life soon ceases, Births and Deaths alternate 337. Acorns, Poppy-seeds, Aphises, Snails, Worms, Tadpoles, Herrings innumerable 347. So Mankind 369. All Nature teems with Life 375. Dead Organic Matter soon revives 383. Death is but a change of Form 393. Exclamation of St. Paul 403. Happiness of the World increases 405. The Phoenix 411. System of Pythagoras 417. Rocks and Mountains produced by Organic Life 429. Are Monuments of past Felicity 447. Munificence of the Deity 455. IV. Procession of Virgins 469. Hymn to Heaven 481. Of Chaos 489. Of Celestial Love 499. Offering of Urania 517-524.
OF GOOD AND EVIL.
I. "HOW FEW," the MUSE in plaintive accents cries, And mingles with her words pathetic sighs.— "How few, alas! in Nature's wide domains The sacred charm of SYMPATHY restrains! Uncheck'd desires from appetite commence, And pure reflection yields to selfish sense! —Blest is the Sage, who learn'd in Nature's laws With nice distinction marks effect and cause; Who views the insatiate Grave with eye sedate, Nor fears thy voice, inexorable Fate! 10
[Footnote: Blest is the Sage, l. 7.
Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas; Quique metus omnes, et inexorabile fatum, Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis avari. VIRG. Georg. II. 490.]
"WHEN War, the Demon, lifts his banner high, And loud artillery rends the affrighted sky; Swords clash with swords, on horses horses rush, Man tramples man, and nations nations crush; Death his vast sithe with sweep enormous wields, And shuddering Pity quits the sanguine fields.
"The wolf, escorted by his milk-drawn dam, Unknown to mercy, tears the guiltless lamb; The towering eagle, darting from above, Unfeeling rends the inoffensive dove; 20 The lamb and dove on living nature feed, Crop the young herb, or crush the embryon seed. Nor spares the loud owl in her dusky flight, Smit with sweet notes, the minstrel of the night; Nor spares, enamour'd of his radiant form, The hungry nightingale the glowing worm; Who with bright lamp alarms the midnight hour, Climbs the green stem, and slays the sleeping flower.
[Footnote: The towering eagle, l. 19.
Torva leaena lupum sequitur, lupus ipse capellam, Florentem cytisum sequitur lasciva capella. VIRG.]
"Fell Oestrus buries in her rapid course Her countless brood in stag, or bull, or horse; 30 Whose hungry larva eats its living way, Hatch'd by the warmth, and issues into day. The wing'd Ichneumon for her embryon young Gores with sharp horn the caterpillar throng. The cruel larva mines its silky course, And tears the vitals of its fostering nurse. While fierce Libellula with jaws of steel Ingulfs an insect-province at a meal; Contending bee-swarms rise on rustling wings, And slay their thousands with envenom'd stings. 40
[Footnote: Fell Oestrus buries, l. 29. The gadfly, bot-fly, or sheep-fly: the larva lives in the bodies of cattle throughout the whole winter; it is extracted from their backs by an African bird called Buphaga. Adhering to the anus it artfully introduces itself into the intestines of horses, and becomes so numerous in their stomachs, as sometimes to destroy them; it climbs into the nostrils of sheep and calves, and producing a nest of young in a transparent hydatide in the frontal sinus, occasions the vertigo or turn of those animals. In Lapland it so attacks the rein deer that the natives annually travel with the herds from the woods to the mountains. Lin. Syst. Nat.]
[Footnote: The wing'd Ichneumon, l. 33. Linneus describes seventy-seven species of the ichneumon fly, some of which have a sting as long and some twice as long as their bodies. Many of them insert their eggs into various caterpillars, which when they are hatched seem for a time to prey on the reservoir of silk in the backs of those animals designed for their own use to spin a cord to support them, or a bag to contain them, while they change from their larva form to a butterfly; as I have seen in above fifty cabbage-caterpillars. The ichneumon larva then makes its way out of the caterpillar, and spins itself a small cocoon like a silk worm; these cocoons are about the size of a small pin's head, and I have seen about ten of them on each cabbage caterpillar, which soon dies after their exclusion.
Other species of ichneumon insert their eggs into the aphis, and into the larva of the aphidivorous fly: others into the bedeguar of rose trees, and the gall-nuts of oaks; whence those excrescences seem to be produced, as well as the hydatides in the frontal sinus of sheep and calves by the stimulus of the larvae deposited in them.]
[Footnote: While fierce Libellula, l. 37. The Libellula or Dragon-fly is said to be a most voracious animal; Linneus says in their perfect state they are the hawks to naked winged flies; in their larva state they run beneath the water, and are the cruel crocodiles of aquatic insects. Syst. Nat.]
[Footnote: Contending bee-swarms, l. 39. Stronger bee-swarms frequently attack weak hives, and in two or three days destroy them and carry away their honey; this I once prevented by removing the attacked hive after the first day's battle to a distinct part of the garden. See Phytologia, Sect. XIV. 3. 7.]
"Yes! smiling Flora drives her armed car Through the thick ranks of vegetable war; Herb, shrub, and tree, with strong emotions rise For light and air, and battle in the skies; Whose roots diverging with opposing toil Contend below for moisture and for soil; Round the tall Elm the flattering Ivies bend, And strangle, as they clasp, their struggling friend; Envenom'd dews from Mancinella flow, And scald with caustic touch the tribes below; 50 Dense shadowy leaves on stems aspiring borne With blight and mildew thin the realms of corn; And insect hordes with restless tooth devour The unfolded bud, and pierce the ravell'd flower.
"In ocean's pearly haunts, the waves beneath Sits the grim monarch of insatiate Death; The shark rapacious with descending blow Darts on the scaly brood, that swims below; The crawling crocodiles, beneath that move, Arrest with rising jaw the tribes above; 60 With monstrous gape sepulchral whales devour Shoals at a gulp, a million in an hour. —Air, earth, and ocean, to astonish'd day One scene of blood, one mighty tomb display! From Hunger's arm the shafts of Death are hurl'd, And one great Slaughter-house the warring world!
[Footnote: The shark rapacious, l. 57. The shark has three rows of sharp teeth within each other, which he can bend downwards internally to admit larger prey, and raise to prevent its return; his snout hangs so far over his mouth, that he is necessitated to turn upon his back, when he takes fish that swim over him, and hence seems peculiarly formed to catch those that swim under him.]
[Footnote: The crawling crocodiles, l. 59. As this animal lives chiefly at the bottom of the rivers, which he frequents, he has the power of opening the upper jaw as well as the under one, and thus with greater facility catches the fish or water-fowl which swim over him.]
[Footnote: One great slaughter-house, l. 66. As vegetables are an inferior order of animals fixed to the soil; and as the locomotive animals prey upon them, or upon each other; the world may indeed be said to be one great slaughter-house. As the digested food of vegetables consists principally of sugar, and from this is produced again their mucilage, starch, and oil, and since animals are sustained by these vegetable productions, it would seem that the sugar-making process carried on in vegetable vessels was the great source of life to all organized beings. And that if our improved chemistry should ever discover the art of making sugar from fossile or aerial matter without the assistance of vegetation, food for animals would then become as plentiful as water, and they might live upon the earth without preying on each other, as thick as blades of grass, with no restraint to their numbers but the want of local room.
It would seem that roots fixed in the earth and leaves innumerable waving in the air were necessary for the decomposition of water and air, and the conversion of them into saccharine matter, which would have been not only cumberous but totally incompatible with the locomotion of animal bodies. For how could a man or quadruped have carried on his head or back a forest of leaves, or have had long branching lacteal or absorbent vessels terminating in the earth? Animals therefore subsist on vegetables; that is they take the matter so prepared, and have organs to prepare it further for the purposes of higher animation and greater sensibility.]
"THE brow of Man erect, with thought elate, Ducks to the mandate of resistless fate; Nor Love retains him, nor can Virtue save Her sages, saints, or heroes from the grave. 70 While cold and hunger by defect oppress, Repletion, heat, and labour by excess, The whip, the sting, the spur, the fiery brand, And, cursed Slavery! thy iron hand; And led by Luxury Disease's trains, Load human life with unextinguish'd pains.
[Footnote: While cold and hunger, l. 71. Those parts of our system, which are in health excited into perpetual action, give us pain, when they are not excited into action: thus when the hands are for a time immersed in snow, an inaction of the cutaneous capillaries is induced, as is seen from the paleness of the skin, which is attended with the pain of coldness. So the pain of hunger is probably produced by the inaction of the muscular fibres of the stomach from the want of the stimulus of food.
Thus those, who have used much voluntary exertion in their early years, and have continued to do so, till the decline of life commences, if they then lay aside their employment, whether that of a minister of state, a general of an army, or a merchant, or manufacturer; they cease to have their faculties excited into their usual activity, and become unhappy, I suppose from the too great accumulation of the sensorial power of volition; which wants the accustomed stimulus or motive to cause its expenditure.]
"Here laughs Ebriety more fell than arms, And thins the nations with her fatal charms, With Gout, and Hydrops groaning in her train, And cold Debility, and grinning Pain, 80 With harlot's smiles deluded man salutes, Revenging all his cruelties to brutes! There the curst spells of Superstition blind, And fix her fetters on the tortured mind; She bids in dreams tormenting shapes appear, With shrieks that shock Imagination's ear, E'en o'er the grave a deeper shadow flings, And maddening Conscience darts a thousand stings.
[Footnote: Here laughs Ebriety, l. 77.
Saevior armis Luxuria incubuit, victumque ulciscitur orbem. HORAC.]
[Footnote: E'en o'er the grave, l. 87. Many theatric preachers among the Methodists successfully inculcate the fear of death and of Hell, and live luxuriously on the folly of their hearers: those who suffer under this insanity, are generally most innocent and harmless people, who are then liable to accuse themselves of the greatest imaginary crimes; and have so much intellectual cowardice, that they dare not reason about those things, which they are directed by their priests to believe. Where this intellectual cowardice is great, the voice of reason is ineffectual; but that of ridicule may save many from these mad-making doctors, as the farces of Mr. Foot; though it is too weak to cure those who are already hallucinated.]
"There writhing Mania sits on Reason's throne, Or Melancholy marks it for her own, 90 Sheds o'er the scene a voluntary gloom, Requests oblivion, and demands the tomb. And last Association's trains suggest Ideal ills, that harrow up the breast, Call for the dead from Time's o'erwhelming main, And bid departed Sorrow live again.
[Footnote: And last association, l. 93. The miseries and the felicities of life may be divided into those which arise in consequence of irritation, sensation, volition, and association; and consist in the actions of the extremities of the nerves of sense, which constitute our ideas; if they are much more exerted than usual, or much less exerted than usual, they occasion pain; as when the finger is burnt in a candle; or when we go into a cold bath: while their natural degree of exertion produces the pleasure of life or existence. This pleasure is nevertheless increased, when the system is stimulated into rather stronger action than usual, as after a copious dinner, and at the beginning of intoxication; and diminished, when it is only excited into somewhat less activity than usual, which is termed ennui, or irksomeness of life.]
[Footnote: Ideal ills, l. 94. The tooth-edge is an instance of bodily pain occasioned by association of ideas. Every one in his childhood has repeatedly bit a part of the glass or earthen vessel, in which his food has been given him, and has thence had a disagreeable sensation in his teeth, attended at the same time with a jarring sound: and ever after, when such a sound is accidentally produced, the disagreeable sensation of the teeth follows by association of ideas; this is further elucidated in Zoonomia, Vol. I. Sect. XVI. 10.]
"Here ragged Avarice guards with bolted door His useless treasures from the starving poor; Loads the lorn hours with misery and care, And lives a beggar to enrich his heir. 100 Unthinking crowds thy forms, Imposture, gull, A Saint in sackcloth, or a Wolf in wool. While mad with foolish fame, or drunk with power, Ambition slays his thousands in an hour; Demoniac Envy scowls with haggard mien, And blights the bloom of other's joys, unseen; Or wrathful Jealousy invades the grove, And turns to night meridian beams of Love!
[Footnote: Enrich his heir, l. 100.
Cum furor haud dubius, cum sit manifesta phrenitis, Ut locuples moriaris, egenti vivere fato. JUVENAL.]
[Footnote: A Wolf in wool, l. 102. A wolf in sheep's clothing.]
"Here wide o'er earth impetuous waters sweep, And fields and forests rush into the deep; 110 Or dread Volcano with explosion dire Involves the mountains in a flood of fire; Or yawning Earth with closing jaws inhumes Unwarned nations, living in their tombs; Or Famine seizes with her tiger-paw, And swallows millions with unsated maw.
"There livid Pestilence in league with Dearth Walks forth malignant o'er the shuddering earth, Her rapid shafts with airs volcanic wings, Or steeps in putrid vaults her venom'd stings. 120 Arrests the young in Beauty's vernal bloom, And bears the innocuous strangers to the tomb!—
[Footnote: With airs volcanic, l. 119. Those epidemic complaints, which are generally termed influenza, are believed to arise from vapours thrown out from earthquakes in such abundance as to affect large regions of the atmosphere, see Botanic Garden, V. I. Canto IV. l. 65. while the diseases properly termed contagious originate from the putrid effluvia of decomposing animal or vegetable matter.]
"AND now, e'en I, whose verse reluctant sings The changeful state of sublunary things, Bend o'er Mortality with silent sighs, And wipe the secret tear-drops from my eyes, Hear through the night one universal groan, And mourn unseen for evils not my own, With restless limbs and throbbing heart complain, Stretch'd on the rack of sentimental pain! 130 —Ah where can Sympathy reflecting find One bright idea to console the mind? One ray of light in this terrene abode To prove to Man the Goodness of his GOD?"
[Footnote: Sentimental pain, l. 130. Children should be taught in their early education to feel for all the remediable evils, which they observe in others; but they should at the same time be taught sufficient firmness of mind not intirely to destroy their own happiness by their sympathizing with too great sensibility with the numerous irremediable evils, which exist in the present system of the world: as by indulging that kind of melancholy they decrease the sum total of public happiness; which is so far rather reprehensible than commendable. See Plan for Female Education by Dr. Darwin, Johnson, London, Sect. XVII.
This has been carried to great excess in the East by the disciples of Confucius; the Gentoos during a famine in India refused to eat the flesh of cows and of other animals to satisfy their hunger, and save themselves from death. And at other times they have been said to permit fleas and musquitoes to feed upon them from this erroneous sympathy.]
II. "HEAR, O YE SONS OF TIME!" the Nymph replies, Quick indignation darting from her eyes; "When in soft tones the Muse lamenting sings, And weighs with tremulous hand the sum of things; She loads the scale in melancholy mood, Presents the evil, but forgets the good. 140 But if the beam some firmer hand suspends, And good and evil load the adverse ends; With strong libration, where the Good abides, Quick nods the beam, the ponderous gold subsides.
"HEAR, O ye Sons of Time! the powers of Life Arrest the elements, and stay their strife; From wandering atoms, ethers, airs, and gas, By combination form the organic mass; And,—as they seize, digest, secrete,—dispense The bliss of Being to the vital Ens. 150 Hence in bright groups from IRRITATION rise Young Pleasure's trains, and roll their azure eyes.
[Footnote: From wandering atoms, l. 147. Had those ancient philosophers, who contended that the world was formed from atoms, ascribed their combinations to certain immutable properties received from the hand of the Creator, such as general gravitation, chemical affinity, or animal appetency, instead of ascribing them to a blind chance; the doctrine of atoms, as constituting or composing the material world by the variety of their combinations, so far from leading the mind to atheism, would strengthen the demonstration of the existence of a Deity, as the first cause of all things; because the analogy resulting from our perpetual experience of cause and effect would have thus been exemplified through universal nature.]
"With fond delight we feel the potent charm, When Zephyrs cool us, or when sun-beams warm; With fond delight inhale the fragrant flowers, Taste the sweet fruits, which bend the blushing bowers, Admire the music of the vernal grove, Or drink the raptures of delirious love.
"So with long gaze admiring eyes behold The varied landscape all its lights unfold; 160 Huge rocks opposing o'er the stream project Their naked bosoms, and the beams reflect; Wave high in air their fringed crests of wood, And checker'd shadows dance upon the flood; Green sloping lawns construct the sidelong scene, And guide the sparkling rill that winds between; Conduct on murmuring wings the pausing gale, And rural echoes talk along the vale; Dim hills behind in pomp aerial rise, Lift their blue tops, and melt into the skies. 170
[Footnote: The varied landscape, l. 160. The pleasure, we feel on examining a fine landscape, is derived from various sources; as first the excitement of the retina of the eye into certain quantities of action; which when there is in the optic nerve any accumulation of sensorial power, is always agreeable. 2. When it is excited into such successive actions, as relieve each other; as when a limb has been long exerted in one direction, by stretching it in another; as described in Zoonomia, Sect. XL. 6. on ocular spectra. 3. And lastly by the associations of its parts with some agreeable sentiments or tastes, as of sublimity, beauty, utility, novelty; and the objects suggesting other sentiments, which have lately been termed picturesque as mentioned in the note to Canto III, l. 230 of this work. The two former of these sources of pleasure arise from irritation, the last from association.]
"So when by HANDEL tuned to measured sounds The trumpet vibrates, or the drum rebounds; Alarm'd we listen with ecstatic wonder To mimic battles, or imagined thunder. When the soft lute in sweet impassion'd strains Of cruel nymphs or broken vows complains; As on the breeze the fine vibration floats, We drink delighted the melodious notes. But when young Beauty on the realms above Bends her bright eye, and trills the tones of love; 180 Seraphic sounds enchant this nether sphere; And listening angels lean from Heaven to hear.
[Footnote: We drink delighted, l. 178. The pleasure we experience from music, is, like that from viewing a landscape, derived from various sources; as first from the excitement of the auditory nerve into certain quantities of action, when there exists any accumulation of sensorial power. 2. When the auditory nerve is exerted in such successive actions as relieve each other, like stretching or yawning, as described in Botanic Garden, Vol. II, Interlude the third, these successions of sound are termed melody, and their combinations harmony. 3. From the repetition of sounds at certain intervals of time; as we hear them with greater facility and accuracy, when we expect them; because they are then excited by volition, as well as by irritation, or at least the tympanum is then better adapted to assist their production; hence the two musical times or bars; and hence the rhimes in poetry give pleasure, as well as the measure of the verse: and lastly the pleasure we receive from music, arises from the associations of agreeable sentiments with certain proportions, or repetitions, or quantities, or times of sounds which have been previously acquired; as explained in Zoonomia Vol. I. Sect. XVI. 10. and Sect. XXII. 2.]
"Next by SENSATION led, new joys commence From the fine movements of the excited sense; In swarms ideal urge their airy flight, Adorn the day-scenes, and illume the night. Her spells o'er all the hand of Fancy flings, Gives form and substance to unreal things; With fruits and foliage decks the barren waste, And brightens Life with sentiment and taste; 190 Pleased o'er the level and the rule presides, The painter's brush, the sculptor's chisel guides, With ray ethereal lights the poet's fire, Tunes the rude pipe, or strings the heroic lyre: Charm'd round the nymph on frolic footsteps move The angelic forms of Beauty, Grace, and Love.
"So dreams the Patriot, who indignant draws The sword of vengeance in his Country's cause; Bright for his brows unfading honours bloom, Or kneeling Virgins weep around his tomb. 200 So holy transports in the cloister's shade Play round thy toilet, visionary maid! Charm'd o'er thy bed celestial voices sing, And Seraphs hover on enamour'd wing.
"So HOWARD, MOIRA, BURDETT, sought the cells, Where want, or woe, or guilt in darkness dwells; With Pity's torch illumed the dread domains, Wiped the wet eye, and eased the galling chains; With Hope's bright blushes warm'd the midnight air, And drove from earth the Demon of Despair. 210 Erewhile emerging from the caves of night The Friends of Man ascended into light; With soft assuasive eloquence address'd The ear of Power to stay his stern behest; At Mercy's call to stretch his arm and save His tottering victims from the gaping grave. These with sweet smiles Imagination greets, For these she opens all her treasured sweets, Strews round their couch, by Pity's hand combined, Bright flowers of joy, the sunshine of the mind; 220 While Fame's loud trump with sounds applausive breathes And Virtue crowns them with immortal wreathes.
"Thy acts, VOLITION, to the world impart The plans of Science with the works of art; Give to proud Reason her comparing power, Warm every clime, and brighten every hour. In Life's first cradle, ere the dawn began Of young Society to polish man; The staff that propp'd him, and the bow that arm'd, The boat that bore him, and the shed that warm'd, 230 Fire, raiment, food, the ploughshare, and the sword, Arose, VOLITION, at thy plastic word.
"By thee instructed, NEWTON'S eye sublime Mark'd the bright periods of revolving time; Explored in Nature's scenes the effect and cause, And, charm'd, unravell'd all her latent laws. Delighted HERSCHEL with reflected light Pursues his radiant journey through the night; Detects new guards, that roll their orbs afar In lucid ringlets round the Georgian star. 240
"Inspired by thee, with scientific wand Pleased ARCHIMEDES mark'd the figured sand; Seized with mechanic grasp the approaching decks, And shook the assailants from the inverted wrecks. —Then cried the Sage, with grand effects elate, And proud to save the Syracusian state; While crowds exulting shout their noisy mirth, 'Give where to stand, and I will move the earth.' So SAVERY guided his explosive steam In iron cells to raise the balanced beam; 250 The Giant-form its ponderous mass uprears, Descending nods and seems to shake the spheres.
[Footnote: Mark'd the figur'd sand, l. 242. The ancient orators seem to have spoken disrespectfully of the mechanic philosophers. Cicero mentioning Archimedes, calls him Homunculus e pulvere et radio, alluding to the custom of drawing problems on the sand with a staff.]
[Footnote: So Savery guided, l. 249. Captain Savery first applied the pressure of the atmosphere to raise water in consequence of a vacuum previously produced by the condensation of steam, though the Marquis of Worcester had before proposed to use for this purpose the expansive power of steam; see Botanic Garden, Vol. I. Canto I. l. 253. Note.]
"Led by VOLITION on the banks of Nile Where bloom'd the waving flax on Delta's isle, Pleased ISIS taught the fibrous stems to bind, And part with hammers from the adhesive rind; With locks of flax to deck the distaff-pole, And whirl with graceful bend the dancing spole. In level lines the length of woof to spread, And dart the shuttle through the parting thread. 260 So ARKWRIGHT taught from Cotton-pods to cull, And stretch in lines the vegetable wool; With teeth of steel its fibre-knots unfurl'd, And with the silver tissue clothed the world.
[Footnote: The waving flax, l. 254. Flax is said to have been first discovered on the banks of the Nile, and Isis to have been the inventress of spinning and weaving.]
[Footnote: So Arkwright taught, l. 261. See Botanic Garden, Vol. II. Canto II. l. 87, Note.]
"Ages remote by thee, VOLITION, taught Chain'd down in characters the winged thought; With silent language mark'd the letter'd ground, And gave to sight the evanescent sound. Now, happier lot! enlighten'd realms possess The learned labours of the immortal Press; 270 Nursed on whose lap the births of science thrive, And rising Arts the wrecks of Time survive.
[Footnote: The immortal Press, l. 270. The discovery of the art of printing has had so great influence on human affairs, that from thence may be dated a new aera in the history of mankind. As by the diffusion of general knowledge, both of the arts of taste and of useful sciences, the public mind has become improved to so great a degree, that though new impositions have been perpetually produced, the arts of detecting them have improved with greater rapidity. Hence since the introduction of printing, superstition has been much lessened by the reformation of religion; and necromancy, astrology, chiromancy, witchcraft, and vampyrism, have vanished from all classes of society; though some are still so weak in the present enlightened times as to believe in the prodigies of animal magnetism, and of metallic tractors; by this general diffusion of knowledge, if the liberty of the press be preserved, mankind will not be liable in this part of the world to sink into such abject slavery as exists at this day in China.]
"Ye patriot heroes! in the glorious cause Of Justice, Mercy, Liberty, and Laws, Who call to Virtue's shrine the British youth, And shake the senate with the voice of Truth; Rouse the dull ear, the hoodwink'd eye unbind, And give to energy the public mind; While rival realms with blood unsated wage Wide-wasting war with fell demoniac rage; 280 In every clime while army army meets, And oceans groan beneath contending fleets; Oh save, oh save, in this eventful hour The tree of knowledge from the axe of power; With fostering peace the suffering nations bless, And guard the freedom of the immortal Press! So shall your deathless fame from age to age Survive recorded in the historic page; And future bards with voice inspired prolong Your sacred names immortalized in song. 290
"Thy power ASSOCIATION next affords Ideal trains annex'd to volant words, Conveys to listening ears the thought superb, And gives to Language her expressive verb; Which in one changeful sound suggests the fact At once to be, to suffer, or to act; And marks on rapid wing o'er every clime The viewless flight of evanescent Time.
[Footnote: Her expressive verb, l. 294. The verb, or the word, has been so called from its being the most expressive term in all languages; as it suggests the ideas of existence, action or suffering, and of time; see the Note on Canto III. l. 371, of this work.]
"Call'd by thy voice contiguous thoughts embrace In endless streams arranged by Time or Place; 300 The Muse historic hence in every age Gives to the world her interesting page; While in bright landscape from her moving pen Rise the fine tints of manners and of men.
[Footnote: Call'd by thy voice, l. 299. The numerous trains of associated ideas are divided by Mr. Hume into three classes, which he has termed contiguity, causation, and resemblance. Nor should we wonder to find them thus connected together, since it is the business of our lives to dispose them into these three classes; and we become valuable to ourselves and our friends as we succeed in it. Those who have combined an extensive class of ideas by the contiguity of time or place, are men learned in the history of mankind, and of the sciences they have cultivated. Those who have connected a great class of ideas of resemblances, possess the source of the ornaments of poetry and oratory, and of all rational analogy. While those who have connected great classes of ideas of causation, are furnished with the powers of producing effects. These are the men of active wisdom who lead armies to victory, and kingdoms to prosperity; or discover and improve the sciences which meliorate and adorn the condition of humanity.]
"Call'd by thy voice Resemblance next describes Her sister-thoughts in lucid trains or tribes; Whence pleased Imagination oft combines By loose analogies her fair designs; Each winning grace of polish'd wit bestows To deck the Nymphs of Poetry and Prose. 310
[Footnote: Polish'd wit bestows, l. 309. Mr. Locke defines wit to consist of an assemblage of ideas, brought together with quickness and variety, wherein can be found any resemblance or congruity, thereby to make up pleasant pictures and agreeable visions in the fancy. To which Mr. Addison adds, that these must occasion surprise as well as delight; Spectator, Vol. I. No. LXII. See Note on Canto III. l. 145. and Additional Note, VII. 3. Perhaps wit in the extended use of the word may mean to express all kinds of fine writing, as the word Taste is applied to all agreeable visible objects, and thus wit may mean descriptive sublimity, beauty, the pathetic, or ridiculous, but when used in the confined sense, as by Mr. Locke and Mr. Addison as above, it may probably be better defined a combination of ideas with agreeable novelty, as this may be effected by opposition as well as by resemblance.]
"Last, at thy potent nod, Effect and Cause Walk hand in hand accordant to thy laws; Rise at Volition's call, in groups combined, Amuse, delight, instruct, and serve Mankind; Bid raised in air the ponderous structure stand, Or pour obedient rivers through the land; With cars unnumber'd crowd the living streets, Or people oceans with triumphant fleets.
"Thy magic touch imagined forms supplies From colour'd light, the language of the eyes; 320 On Memory's page departed hours inscribes, Sweet scenes of youth, and Pleasure's vanish'd tribes. By thee ANTINOUS leads the dance sublime On wavy step, and moves in measured time; Charm'd round the Youth successive Graces throng, And Ease conducts him, as he moves along; Unbreathing crowds the floating form admire, And Vestal bosoms feel forbidden fire.