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But here, without further explaining, he begged for the present that we might conclude, being sufficiently, as he said, fatigued with the length of what had passed already. The request was reasonable, I could not but own; and thus ended our conversation, and soon after it our walk.

the original principle of change, or of ceasing to change; as, for instance, the person who deliberates, is the cause of that which results from such deliberation; the father is the cause of the son; and, in general, the efficient, of the thing effected; the power changing, of the thing changed. Besides these causes, there is that also which is considered as the end; that is to say, the

cause, for the sake of which the thing is
done. Thus the cause of exercising is
health. For if it be asked, Why does he
use exercise? We say, To preserve his
health and having said thus much, we
think we have given the proper cause."
Arist. Natur. Auscult. 1. ii. c. 3.
See also p. 20.






ALL arts have this in common, that they respect human life. Some contribute to its necessities, as medicine and agriculture; others to its elegance, as music, painting, and poetry.

Now, with respect to these two different species, the necessary arts seem to have been prior in time; if it be probable, that

• The following extract from a manuscript of Philoponus may help to shew the comparative priority of arts and sciences, by shewing (according to this author) the order of their revival in a new-formed society. Such society he supposes to have arisen from scattered individuals again assembling themselves, after former societies had, by various incidents of war, famine, inundation, and the like, been dissipated and destroyed.

Having spoken of the effects of Deucalion's flood, he proceeds as follows: Οὗτοι οὖν οἱ περιλειφθέντες, μὴ ἔχοντες ὅθεν ἂν τραφεῖεν, ἐπενόουν ὑπ ̓ ἀνάγκης τὰ πρὸς χρείαν, οἷον τὸ ἀλήθειν μύλαις σῖτον, ἢ τὸ σπείρειν, ἤ τι τοιοῦτον ἄλλο· καὶ ἐκάλεσαν τὴν τοιαύτην ἐπίνοιαν σοφίαν, τὴν εἰς τὰ ἀναγκαῖα τοῦ βίου τὸ λυσιτελὲς ἐξευρίσκουσαν, καὶ σοφὸν τὸν ἐπινενοηκότα. Πάλιν ἐπενόησαν τέχνας, ὡς φησὶν ὁ ποιητής,


Πάλιν, ἀπέβλεψαν πρὸς τὰ πολιτικὰ πράγματα, καὶ ἐξεύρον νόμους, καὶ πάντα τὰ συνιστῶντα τὰς πόλεις· καὶ ταύτην πάλιν τὴν ἐπίνοιαν σοφίαν ἐκάλεσαν· τοιοῦτοι γὰρ ἦσαν οἱ ἑπτὰ σοφοὶ, πολιτικὰς τινὰς ἀρετὰς εὑρόντες.

Εἶτα λοιπὸν, ὁδῷ προϊόντες, καὶ ἐπ' αὐτὰ τὰ σώματα, καὶ τὴν δημιουργὸν αὐτῶν προῆλθον φύσιν, καὶ ταύτην εἰδικώτερον φυσικὴν ἐκάλεσαν θεωρίαν, καὶ σοφοὺς τοὺς τὴν τοιαύτην μετιόντας σκέψιν.

Τελευταῖον δ ̓ ἐπ' αὐτὰ λοιπὸν ἔφθασαν τὰ θεῖα, καὶ ὑπερκόσμια, καὶ ἀμετάβλητα παντελῶς, καὶ τὴν τούτων Γνῶσιν κυριωτάτην σοφίαν ὠνόμασαν.


“ These, therefore, that were thus left, not having whence they could support themselves, began through necessity to contrive things relative to immediate want, such as the grinding of corn by mills, or the sowing it, or something else of like kind; and such contrivance, discovering what was conducive to the necessaries of life, they called wisdom ; and him a wise man, who had been the contriver.

“ Again, they contrived arts (as Homer σοφὸς ἤραρε τέκτων, Bays) Εὖ εἰδὼς σοφίης .. By precepts of Minerva; ὑποθημοσύνῃσι δ' ̓Αθήνης εἶπεν, ἐπεὶ διὰ that is, not only those arts that stop at the


τὴν ὑπερβολὴν τῶν εὑρημάτων εἰς θεὸν τὴν τούτων ἐπίνοιαν ἀνέφερον.

· ὑποθημοσύνῃσιν ̓Αθήνης, οὐ μόνον τὰς μέχρι τῆς εἰς τὸν βίον ἀνάγκης ἱσταμένας, ἀλλὰ καὶ μέχρι τοῦ καλοῦ καὶ ἀστείου προϊούσας· καὶ τοῦτο πάλιν σοφίαν κεκλήκασιν, καὶ τὸν εὑρόντα σοφόν ὡς τὸ,

men consulted how to live and to support themselves, before they began to deliberate how to render life agreeable. Nor is

necessity of life, but those also that advance as far as the fair and elegant: and this, too, they called wisdom; and the inventor, a wise man. Thus the poet :

The work 'Twas a wise artist fram'd, his wisdom taught By precepts of Minerva.

The last words are added, because, from the transcendence of the inventions, they referred their contrivance to a divinity.

"Again, they turned their eyes to matters political, and found out laws, and the several things that constitute cities, or civil communities: and this contrivance in its turn they called wisdom, and of this sort were those celebrated seven wise men, the inventors of certain virtues political.

"After this, still advancing in a road, they proceeded to corporeal substances, and to nature, their efficient cause; and this speculation, by a more specific name, they called natural speculation, and those persons wise, who pursued such inquiries.

"Last of all, they attained even to beings divine, supramundane, and wholly unchangeable; and the knowledge of these they named the most excellent wisdom."

A few observations on this important passage may not perhaps be improper.

Our first observation is, that though we give it from Philoponus, yet is it by him (as he informs us) taken from a work of Aristocles, an ancient Peripatetic, entitled, Пepi Þiλoroplas, "Concerning Philosophy." Some, indeed, have conjectured, that for Aristocles, we ought to read Aristoteles, because the last published a work under this title, which he quotes himself in his treatise De Anima. Be this as it may, the extract itself is valuable, not only for its matter, but for being the fragment of a treatise now no longer extant.

Our next observation is, that by "matters political," in the third paragraph, the author means, not the first associations of mankind, for these were prior to almost every thing else, and were not referable to art, but to the innate impulse of the social principle: he means, on the contrary, those more exquisite and artificial forms, given to societies already established, in order to render them happy, and rescue and preserve them from tyrannic power. Such was the polity given by Lycurgus to the Lacedæmonians, by Solon to the Athenians, by Numa to the Romans, &c. Those great and good men, in meditating their institutions, had the same sentiment with Alcidamas, according to that noble fragment of his, preserved in the scholiast upon Aristotle's Rhetoric,

Ελευθέρους͵ ἀφῆκε πάντας θεός· οὐδένα δοῦλον ἡ φύσις πεποίηκεν, “ God hath sent forth all men free; nature hath made no man a slave."

Our third observation is, that by "the most excellent science," in the last paragraph, is meant the science of causes, and, above all others, of causes efficient and final, as these necessarily imply pervading reason, and superintending wisdom. This science, as men were naturally led to it from the contemplation of effects, which effects were the tribe of beings natural or physical, was, from being thus subsequent to these physical inquiries, called metaphysical; but with a view to itself, and the transcendent eminence of its object, was more properly called ἡ πρώτη φιλοσοφία, “ the first philosophy."


Our fourth observation is on the order of these inventions; namely, arts necessary, arts elegant, arts political, science physical, science metaphysical; in all, five habits, or modes of wisdom. The necessary arts it is evident must on all accounts have come first. When these were once established, the transition to the elegant was easy and obvious. Inventions of necessity, by the superadditions of despatch, facility, and the like, soon ripened into inventions of convenience; and again these, having in their very nature a certain beauty and grace, easily suggested inventions of pure and simple elegance.

That the legislators, though in rank and genius far superior to all natural philosophers, should come before them in point of time, is owing to the nature of their subject, which had a more immediate connection with man, and human happiness. It was not, indeed, till societies were thoroughly established, and peace had been well secured both internally and externally, that men had leisure, or even inclination, to reflect on the objects round them, or to recognise that vast mansion in which they found themselves existing.

Lastly, as the tremendous part of physical events led weak minds, who could not resolve them, into the abyss of dark and dreary superstition; so those of the same kind, which had beauty and order, being in their turn equally striking, and equally objects of admiration, led strong and generous minds into principles the very reverse. They conceived it probable, as their own views were limited, that, even where beauty and order were not to them apparent, they might still in others' views have a most real existence. Further, as these observers could

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this, indeed, unconfirmed by fact, there being no nation known so barbarous and ignorant, as where the rudiments of these necessary arts are not in some degree cultivated. And hence possibly they may appear to be the more excellent and worthy, as having claim to a preference, derived from their seniority.

The arts, however, of elegance cannot be said to want pretensions, if it be true, that nature framed us for something more than mere existence. Nay, further, if well-being be clearly preferable to mere-being, and this without it be but a thing contemptible, they may have reason perhaps to aspire even to a superiority. But enough of this; to come to our purpose.

II. The design of this discourse is to treat of music, painting, and poetry; to consider in what they agree, and in what they differ; and which, upon the whole, is more excellent than the other two.

In entering upon this inquiry, it is first to be observed, that the mind is made conscious of the natural world and its affections, and of other minds and their affections, by the several organs of the senses. By the same organs, these arts exhibit to the mind imitations, and imitate either parts or affections of this natural world, or else the passions, energies, and other affections of minds. There is this difference, however, between these arts and nature; that nature passes to the percipient through all the

perceive nothing done either by themselves, or those of their own species, which, if it in the least aspired to utility, or beauty, was not necessarily the effect of a conscious and intelligent cause, they were, from the superior utility and beauty of physical effects, induced to infer a conscious and intelligent cause of these, far superior to themselves; a cause, which from the universality of these events, as well as from their union and sympathy, was not, as are the sons of men, a multitude of limited causes, but a simple cause, universal and one; a cause, too, which, from the neverceasing of its events, was not, like the same human beings, an intermittent cause, but a cause, ever operating, ever in energy.

We see, therefore, the reason why this first philosophy was subsequent in point of time to physical speculation, and why of course to the other habits or modes of wisdom here enumerated, though in its own dignity and importance far superior to them all.

Our fifth observation is, that as a nation may be said to be in a state of perfection, which is in the full possession of all these habits, or modes of wisdom; so those nations are nearest to perfection, that possess them in the greatest number, or in a state of the greatest maturity.

A man of ingenuity might find rational amusement from this speculation, by comparing the same nation, as to these matters, either with itself in different periods, or with its neighbours in the same periods, either past or present. He might, for example, compare ancient Britain with ancient Greece; present Britain with present Greece; Britain in the age of crusades, with Britain in the age of Elizabeth; present Britain with her colonies, with Italy, France, Holland, and the enlightened countries; with Spain, Portugal, Barbary, &c. But this we leave, as foreign to our work, and drawing us into a theory, which merits a better place than an occasional note. b Οὐ τὸ ζῆν περὶ πλείστου ποιητέον, ̓Αλλὰ τὸ εὖ ζῆν.

Plat. in Critone. To explain some future observations, it will be proper here to remark, that the mind from these materials thus brought together, and from its own operations on them, and in consequence of them, becomes fraught with ideas; and that many minds so fraught, by a sort of compact assigning to each idea some sound to be its mark or symbol, were the first inventors and founders of language. See Hermes, lib. iii. cap. 3, 4.

senses; whereas these arts use only two of them, that of seeing and that of hearing. And hence it is, that the sensible objects, or media, through which they imitate, can be such only as these two senses are framed capable of perceiving; and these media are motion, sound, colour, and figure.

Painting, having the eye for its organ, cannot be conceived to imitate, but through the media of visible objects. And further, its mode of imitating being always motionless, there must be subtracted from these the medium of motion. It remains, then, that colour and figure are the only media through which painting imitates.

Music, passing to the mind through the organ of the ear, can imitate only by sounds and motions.

Poetry, having the ear also for its organ, as far as words are considered to be no more than mere sounds, can go no further in imitating, than may be performed by sound and motion. But then, as these its sounds stand by compact for the various ideas,* with which the mind is fraught, it is enabled by this means to imitate, as far as language can express; and that it is evident will, in a manner, include all things.

Now from hence may be seen, how these arts agree, and how they differ.

They agree, by being all mimetic or imitative.

They differ, as they imitate by different media: painting, by figure and colour; music, by sound and motion; painting and music, by media which are natural; poetry, for the greatest part, by a medium which is artificial.'

III. As to that art, which, upon the whole, is most excellent of the three, it must be observed, that among these various media of imitating, some will naturally be more accurate, some less; some will best imitate one subject, some another. Again, among the number of subjects there will be naturally also a difference as to merit and demerit. There will be some sublime,

To prevent confusion, it must be observed, that in all these arts there is a difference between the sensible media, through which they imitate, and the subjects imitated. The sensible media, through which they imitate, must be always relative to that sense, by which the particular art applies to the mind; but the subject imitated may be foreign to that sense, and beyond the power of its perception. Painting, for instance, (as is shewn in this chapter,) has no sensible media, through which it operates, except colour and figure: but as to subjects, it may have motions, sounds, moral affections, and actions; none of which are either colours or figures, but which, how ever, are all capable of being imitated through them. See chap. ii. notes i, j, k.

e See note c, page 27.

A figure painted, or a composition of musical sounds, have always a natural relation to that of which they are intended to be the resemblance. But a description in words has rarely any such natural relation to the several ideas, of which those words are the symbols. None, therefore, understand the description, but those who speak the language. On the contrary, musical and picture-imitations are intelligible to all men.

Why it is said, that poetry is not universally, but only for the greater part artificial, see below, chap. iii., where what natural force it has, is examined and estimated.

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