Page images
PDF
EPUB

sailing are energies; and so is elocution, and so is life itself. On the contrary, call every production, whose parts exist all at once, and whose nature depends not on a transition for its essence, call it a work, or thing done, not an energy or operation. Thus a house is a work, a statue is a work, and so is a ship, and so a picture.—I seem, said I, to comprehend you.

If, then, there be no productions, said he, but must be of parts, either co-existent or successive; and the one of these be, as you perceive, a work, and the other be an energy; it will follow, there will be no production, but will be either a work or an energy.-There will not, said I.-But every art, said he, you have granted, is accomplished and ended in what it produces ? I replied, I had.—And there are no productions, but works or energies ?-None.

It will follow, then, said he, that every art will be accomplished and ended in a work or energy.P

To this I answered, that his reasoning I could not impeach; but that still the distinction of work and energy was what I did not well comprehend. There are several circumstances, said he, which will serve sufficiently to make it clear.—I begged he would mention some.

p The cause here treated is the formal, not perhaps be improper to transcribe his called by various names; the eldos, the own words: Ταυτόν τον αριθμό το τέλος λόγος, the τί έστι, the το τι ήν είναι. Vid. και το είδος, τη σχέσει μόνη διαφέρον, ώς Scal. de Caus. Ling. Lat. 1. ν. c. 113. p. είρηται, και το χρόνο. όταν μέν γαρ ώς 232. Imperfectum autem Græci, etc. γινόμενον, και μήπω δν θεωρήται, τέλος

In the beginning of the above-cited εστίν όταν δε ώς ήδη γενόμενον, είδος. Ethics, after the author has told us that “The end and the form are numerically the every art, and human action, tend to some same, differing (as has been said) in relation good, or end; he adds, Acapopa, tis only, and time. For thus the same thing, φαίνεται των τέλων" τα μεν γάρ εισιν while considered as in its progress to comενεργείαι: τα δε παρ' αυτάς, έργα τινά: pletion, but as not yet complete, is so long * but there appears a difference in ends : an end; when considered as actually comfor some are energies ; some, over and above plete, is no longer an end, but a form." these energies, are certain works.” In And thus is this question one way answered, Quintilian's Institutes, the same distinction, by acknowledging that these two causes cowith respect to the end of arts, is mentioned, incide, and differ not in their essence or real l. ii. c. 18. Vid. Plat. in Dio. Laert. l. iii. character ; but rather in the time and manc. 84. p. 216. c. 100. p. 225.

ner of our contemplating them. But here perhaps it may be asked, if all But there is another answer, and that is arts are ended and accomplished in some derived from the twofold nature of final energy or work, and this energy or work causes. According to this doctrine, arts be almost universally that absent good, not only a nearer and more immediate toward which they all tend, and for the end, (as a ship is the end of ship-building, sake of which they are all exerted ; (for a or navigating the end of pilotry,) but they dance, which is an energy, and a house, have a still remoter and higher end, a which is a work, are certain absent goods or TÉROS TELKÁTatov, that is to say, man, pleasures, for the sake of which certain arts human-kind, or (in other words) the utility operate ;) if this be allowed, it may be asked, or elegance of human life. Thus the Stagiwhence then the difference between the rite: Εσμεν γαρ πως και ημείς τέλος: formal cause and the final; the final, as in Bixws ydp to éveka. “For we ourselves note m it has been already treated ? also are in some sort an end: for the final

The answer to this is, that they concur cause is twofold." Natur. Auscult. l. ii. and are the same. Td per gap al doth, c. 2. If, therefore, we have respect to this kal ad ol éveka, &v dott. “The formal ultimate end, these two causes will be cause and the final are one."- Arist. Nat. found to differ, and be really distinct from Ausc. l. ij. c. 7. If they differ, it is (as each other. Joannes Grammaticus observes in comment- And thus it is that in some respects they ing on this place) a difference rather in the agree, and in others they differ, according time and manner of our viewing them, than to the above distinctions established by this in their own essence and nature. It may philosophy.

Thus, then, said he, when the production of any art is an energy, then the perfection of the art can be only perceived during that energy. For instance, the perfection of a musician is only known while he continues playing. But when the production of any art is a work, then is not the perfection visible during the energy, but only after it. Thus the perfection of the statuary is not seen during his energies as a statuary, but when his energies are over; when no stroke of the chisel is wanting, but the statue is left as the result of all.-It is true, said I.

Again, continued he, in consequence of this, where the production is an energy, there the production is of necessity coeval with the artist. For how should the energy survive the man; the playing remain when the musician is dead? But where the production is a work, then is there no such necessity. The work may well remain, when the artist is forgotten; there being no more reason, that the statue and the artist should be coeval, than the man and the rude marble, before it received a regular figure. You seem now, said I, to have explained yourself.

If, then, said he, work and energy be made intelligible terms, you cannot but perceive the truth of what we before asserted, that every art, according to its genius, must needs be accomplished in one of these; that, except in these two, it can be accomplished in nothing else; and, consequently, that one of these must of necessity be its end. I answered, that the reasoning appeared justly deduced.-So much, then, replied he, for the ending or accomplishment of art; and so much also for a long, and, I fear, an intricate disquisition.

V. He had no sooner said this, than I was beginning to applaud him; especially on his having treated a subject so copiously, started, as it were, by chance, and without any apparent preparation. But I had not gone far, before he interrupted me, by saying, that as to my praises they were more than he deserved ; that he could pretend to no great merit for having been, as I called it, so copious, when he had so often before thought on what at present we had been talking.-In short, says he, to tell you a secret, I have been a long time amusing myself in forming an essay upon this subject. -- I could not here forbear reproaching him, for having hitherto concealed his intentions. My reproaches produced a sort of amicable controversy, which at length ended in his offering, that, to make me some amends, he would now recite me (if I pleased) a small fragment of the piece; a fragment which he had happened accidentally to have about him. The proposal, on my part, was willingly accepted, and without further delay the papers were produced.

1

As to the performance itself, it must be confessed, in point of style, it was somewhat high and florid, perhaps even bordering upon an excess. At the time however of recital, this gave me less offence, because it seemed, as it were, to palliate the dryness of what had passed before, and in some sort to supply the place of an epilogue to our conference. Not however to anticipate, lie began reading as follows:

“O Art! thou distinguishing attribute and honour of human kind! who art not only able to imitate Nature in her graces, but (what is more) even to adorn her with graces of thy own. Possessed of thee, the meanest genius grows deserving, and has a just demand for a portion of our esteem. Devoid of thee, the brightest of our kind lie lost and useless, and are but poorly distinguished from the most despicable and base. When we inhabited forests in common with brutes, nor otherwise known from them than by the figure of our species, thou taughtest us to assert the sovereignty of our nature, and to assume that empire for which Providence intended us. Thousands of utilities owe their birth to thee; thousands of elegancies, pleasures, and joys, without which life itself would be but an insipid possession.

“Wide and extensive is the reach of thy dominion. No element is there either so violent or so subtle, so yielding or so sluggish, as by the powers of its nature to be superior to thy direction. Thou dreadest not the fierce impetuosity of fire, but compellest its violence to be both obedient and useful. By it thou softenest the stubborn tribe of minerals, so as to be formed and moulded into shapes innumerable. Hence weapons, armour, coin; and previous to these, and other thy works and energies, hence all those various tools and instruments which empower thee to proceed to further ends more excellent. Nor is the subtle air less obedient to thy power, whether thou willest it to be a minister to our pleasure, or utility. At thy command it giveth birth to sounds, which charm the soul with all the powers of harmony. Under thy instruction it moves the ship over seas, while that yielding element, where otherwise we sink, even water itself is by thee taught to bear us; the vast ocean to promote that intercourse of nations, which ignorance would imagine it was destined to intercept. To say how thy influence is seen on earth, would be to teach the meanest what he knows already. Suffice it but to mention fields of arable and pasture; lawns

9 This alludes to a capital distinction of rhetoric, moral virtue, &c., finish the mental. art, taken from a view of her different Where she does not finish nature, she ends. Art may in some respects be said to imitates her, as in sculpture, painting, finish nature; in others, to imitate her. She dramatic poetry, &c. finishes her, where nature, having given the Aristotle expresses the above sentiment powers, is of herself unable to give them 2s follows: “Ολως τε η τέχνη τα μεν επιperfection. It is thus the gymnastic arts, τελεί, αν η φύσις αδυνατεί απεργάζεσθαι, dancing, riding &c., finish the corporcal Tè prueiral. Physic. I. ii. c. 8. powers; while the sublimer arts, logic,

and groves, and gardens, and plantations; cottages, villages, castles, towns; palaces, temples, and spacious cities. “ Nor does thy empire end in subjects thus inanimate.

Its power also extends through the various race of animals, who either patiently submit to become thy slaves, or are sure to find thee an irresistible foe. The faithful dog, the patient ox, the generous horse, and the mighty elephant, are content all to receive their instructions from thee, and readily to lend their natural instincts or strength, to perform those offices which thy occasions call for. If there be found any species which are serviceable when dead, thou suggestest the means to investigate and take them. If any be so savage as to refuse being tamed, or of natures fierce enough to venture an attack, thou teachest us to scorn their brutal rage; to meet, repel, pursue, and conquer.

“And such, 0 Art! is thy amazing influence, when thou-art employed only on these inferior subjects; on natures inanimate, or, at best, irrational. But whenever thou choosest a subject more noble, and settest to the cultivating of Mind itself, then it is thou becomest truly amiable and divine; the ever-flowing source of those sublimer beauties of which no subject but Mind alone is capable. Then it is thou art enabled to exhibit to mankind the admired tribe of poets and of orators; the sacred train of patriots and of heroes; the godlike list of philosophers and legislators; the forms of virtuous and equal polities, where private welfare is made the same with public; where crowds themselves prove disinterested and brave, and virtue is made a national and popular characteristic.

“Hail! sacred source of all these wonders! Thyself instruct me to praise thee worthily, through whom, whatever we do is done with elegance and beauty; without whom, what we do is ever graceless and deformed. Venerable power! By what name shall I address thee? Shall I call thee Ornament of Mind; or art thou more truly Mind itself? It is Mind thou art, most perfect Mind ; not rude, untaught, but fair and polished : in such thou dwellest, of such thou art the form ; nor is it a thing more possible to separate thee from such, than it would be to separate thee from thy own existence."

My good friend was now arrived to a very exalted pitch, and was pursuing his panegyric with great warmth and Auency, when we entered the suburbs, our walk being near finished. The people, as we went along, began to look at us with surprise ; which I, who was less engaged, having leisure to observe, thought it was proper to admonish my friend, that he should give over. He immediately ceased reading; put his papers up; and thanked me for stopping him at so seasonable a time.

VI. What remained of our discourse passed off with less rapture, and was, indeed, no more than a kind of short recapitulation.

He observed to me, that our inquiries had furnished out an answer to four different questions. For thus, said he, if it be asked us, What Art is? We have to answer, It is an habitual power in man of becoming the cause of some effect, according to a system of various and well-approved precepts.” If it be asked us, On what subject art operates? We can answer, “On a contingent which is within the reach of the human powers to influence.” If it be asked us, For what reason, for the sake of what, art operates? We may reply, “For the sake of some absent good, relative to human life, and attainable by man, but superior to his natural and uninstructed faculties.” Lastly, if it be asked, Where it is the operations of art end? We may say, “Either in some energy, or in some work.”

He added, that if he were not afraid of the imputation of pedantry, he could be almost tempted to say, that we had been considering art, with respect to those four causes, so celebrated once among professors in the schools. By these, upon inquiry, I found that he meant certain causes, called the efficient, the material, the final, and the formal."

του ανδριάντος, και ο άργυρος της φιάλης, • Page 11.

Page 8.

και τα τούτων γένη. 'Αλλον δε, το είδος, Page 16.

και το παράδειγμα τούτο δ' έστιν ο λόγος Ο That is to say, το κινήσαν, ή Ύλη, το και του τι ήν είναι, και τα τούτου γένη: ου ένεκα, το Είδος.

οίον του διά πασών τα δύο προς έν, και Thus Seneca, in his 65th epistle: Causam 8ws ó aprouds, kai td uépn od dv Aristoteles putat tribus modis dici. Prima, λόγω. 'Ετι, όθεν η αρχή της μεταβολής inquit, causa est ipsa materia, sine qua η πρώτη, ή ή της ηρεμήσεως" οίον ο βουnihil potest effici. Secunda, opifex. Tertia, λεύσας, αίτιον" και ο πατήρ, του τέκνου forma que unicuique operi imponitur, tan- και όλως το ποιούν του ποιουμένου, και το quam statue; nam hanc Aristoteles idoς μεταβάλλον του μεταβαλλομένου. 'Ετι, (eldos) vocat. Quarta quoque, inquit, his Ws To Témos toûto gi dori od éveka. accedit, propositum totius operis.

οδον του περιπατείν ή υγίεια· διά τι γαρ Quid sit hoc, aperiam. Es prima statue περιπατεί; φαμεν ίνα υγιαίνη, και είπόνcausa est: nunquam enim facta esset, nisi τες ούτως, οιόμεθα αποδεδωκέναι το αίτιον. fuisset id, ex quo ea funderetur, ducere- “ In one manner that may be called a turve. Secunda causa, artifex est: non po- cause, out of which, existing as a part of it, tuisset enim æs illud in habitum statuæ any thing is made or compounded. Thus figurari, nisi accessissent peritæ manus. is brass the cause of a statue, silver of a Tertia causa est forma : neque enim statua cup, and so also the higher genera, in which ista Doryphoros aut Diadumenos vocaretur, these are included, (as metal, the genus innisi hæc illi esset impressa facies. Quarta cluding brass and silver; body, the genus causa est, faciendi propositum : nam nisi including metal, &c. &c.) In another way, hoc fuisset, facta non esset. Quid est pro- the form and exemplar of any thing is its positum ? Quod invitavit artificem, quod canse ; that is to say, in other words, the ille secutus fecit. Vel pecunia est hoc, si definition, the detail or narrative of its venditurus fabricavit; vel gloria, si laboravit essence, [that which, characterizing it to be in nomen ; vel religio, si donum templo such a particular thing, distinguishes it from paravit. Ergo et hæc causa est, propter all things else,) and of this definition the quam fit. An

putas inter causas facti several higher genera. Thus the cause of operis numerandum, quo remoto factum non the diapason, or octave, is the proportion of esset.

two to one ; and more generally than that, Aristotle's own words are as follow: is number, and is moreover the several "Eva pèy obv Tpónov atriov Néyeral Td parts, out of which this definition is formed. ου γίνεται τι ενυπάρχοντος· οίον, ο χαλκός Add to this cause, that other, from whence

« PreviousContinue »