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to the beauty of a moral action, nor of a mathematical theorem: and numberless are the beautiful objects of sight that have little or no variety in them; a globe, the most uniform of all figures, is of all the most beautiful ; and a square, though more beautiful than a trapezium, hath less variety in its constituent parts. The foregoing definition, which at best is but obscurely expressed, is only applicable to a number of objects in a group or in succession, among which indeed a due mixture of uniformity and variety is always agreeable; provided the particular objects, separately considered, be in any degree beautiful, for uniformity amid variety among ugly objects, affords no pleasure. This circumstance is totally omitted in the definition: and indeed to have mentioned it, would at the very first glance have shown the definition to be imperfect: for to define beauty as arising from beautiful objects blended together in a clue proportion of uniformity and variety, would be too gross to pass current; as nothing can be more gross than to enıploy in a definition the very term that is to be explained.


Concerning the Works of Nature, chiefly with respect to

Uniformity and Variety.

In things of Nature's workmanship, whether we regard their internal or external structure, beauty and design are equally conspicuous. We shall begin with the outside of nature, as what first presents itself.

The figure of an organic body is generally regular. The trunk of a tree, its branches, and their ramifications, are nearly round, and form a series regularly decreasing from the trunk to the smallest fibre: uniformity is no where more remarkable than in the leaves, which, in the same species, have all the same colour, size, and shape: the seeds and fruits are all regular figures, approaching, for the most part, to the globular form. Hence a plant, especially of the larger kind, with its trunk, branches, foliage, and fruit, is a charming object.

In an animal, the trunk, which is much larger than the other parts, occupies a chief place; its shape, like that of the stem of plants, is nearly round; a figure which of all is the most agreeable : its two sides are precisely similar: several of the under parts go off in pairs; and the two individuals of each pair are accurately uniform : the single parts are placed in the middle: the limbs, bearing a certain proportion to the trunk, serve to support it, and to give it a proper elevation: upon one extremity are disposed the neck and head, in the direction of the trunk : the head being the chief part, possesses, with great propriety, the chief place. Hence, the beauty of the whole figure, is the result of many equal and proportional parts orderly disposed; and the smallest variation in number, equality, proportion, or order, never fails to produce a perception of deformity.

Nature in no particular seems more profuse of ornament, than in the beautiful colouring of her works. The flowers of plants, the furs of beasts, and the feathers of birds, vie with each other in the beauty of their colours, which in lustre as well as in harmony are beyond the power of imitation. Of all natural appearances, the colouring of the human face is the most exquisite : it is the strongest instance of the ineffable art of nature, in adapting and proportioning its colours to the magnitude, figure,

and position, of the parts. In a word, colour seems to live in nature only, and to languish under the finest touches of art.

When we examine the internal structure of a plant or animal, a wonderful subtlety of mechanism is displayed. Man, in his mechanical operations, is confined to the surface of bodies; but the operations of nature are exerted through the whole substance, so as to reach even the elementary parts. Thus the body of an animal, and of a plant, are composed of certain great vessels; these of smaller ; and these again of still smaller, without end, as far as we can discover. This power of diffusing mechanism through the most intimate parts, is peculiar to nature, and distinguishes her operations, most remarkably, from every work of art. Such texture continued from the grosser parts to the most minute, preserves all along the strictest regularity: the fibres of plants are a bundle of cylindric canals, lying in the same direction, and parallel, or nearly parallel to each other: in some instances, a most accurate arrangement of parts is discovered, as in onions, formed of concentric coats one within another, to the very centre. An animal body is still more admirable, in the disposition of its internal parts, and in their order and symmetry; there is not a bone, a muscle, a bloodvessel, a nerve, that hath not one corresponding to it on the opposite side ; and the same order is carried through the most minute parts: the lungs are composed of two parts, which are disposed upon the sides of the thorax; and the kidneys, in a lower situation, have a position no less orderly: as to the parts that are single, the heart is advantageously situated near the middle; the liver, stomach, and spleen, are disposed in the upper region of the abdomen, about the same height: the bladder is placed in the middle of the body, as well as the intestinal canal, which fills the whole cavity with its convolutions. VOL. J.


The mechanical power of nature, not confined to small bodies, reacheth equally those of the greatest size; witness the bodies that compose the solar system, which, however large, are weighed, measured and subjected to certain laws, with the utmost accuracy. Their places round the sm, with their distances, are determined by a precise rule, corresponding to their quantity of matter. The superior dignity of the central body, in respect to its bulk and lucid appearance, is suited to the place it occupies. The globular figure of these bodies, is not only in itself beautiful, but is above all others fitted for regular motion. Each planet revolves about its own axis in a given time; and each moves round the sun, in an orbit nearly circular, and in a time proportioned to its distance. Their velocities, directed by an established law, are perpetually changing by regular accelerations and retardations. In fine, the great variety of regular appearances, joined with the beauty of the system itself, cannot fail to produce the highest delight in every one who is sensible of design, power, or beauty.

Nature hath a wonderful power of connecting systems with each other, and of propagating that connexion through all her works. Thus the constituent parts of a plant, the roots, the stem, the branches, the leaves, the fruit are really different systems, united by a mutual dependence on each other : in an animal, the lympathetic and lacteal ducts, the blood-vessels and nerves, the muscles and glands, the bones and cartilages, the membranes and buwels, with the other organs, form distinct systems, which are united into one whole. There are at the same time, other connexions less intimate: every plant is joined to the earth by its roots : it requires rain and dews to furnish it with juices; and it requires heat to preserve these juices in fluidity and motion : every animal, by its gravity, is connected with the earth, with the element in which

it breathes, and with the sun, by deriving from it cherishing and enlivening heat: the earth furnisheth aliment to plants, these to animals, and these again to other animals, in a long train of dependence: that the earth is part of a greater system comprehending many bodies mutually attracting each other, and gravitating all toward one common centre, is now thoroughly explored. Such a regular and uniform series of connexions, propagated through so great a number of beings, and through such wide spaces, is wonderful : and our wonder must increase, when we observe these connexions propagated from the minutest atoms to bodies of the most enormous size, and so widely diffused as that we can neither perceive their beginning nor their end. That these connexions are not confined within our own planetary system, is certain : they are diffused over spaces still more remote, where new bodies and systems rise without end. All space is filled with the works of God, which are conducted by one plan, to answer unerringly one great end.

But the most wonderful connexion of all, though not the most conspicuous, is that of our internal frame with the works of nature : man is obviously fitted for contemplating these works, because in this contemplation he has great delight. The works of nature are remarkable in their uniformity no less than in their variety; and the mind of man is fitted to receive pleasure equally from both. Uniformity and variety are interwoven in the works of nature with surprising art: variety, however great, is never without some degree of uniformity; nor the greatest uniformity without some degree of variety: there is great variety in the same plant, by the different appearances of its stem, branches, leaves, blossoms, fruit, size, and colour; and yet, when we trace that variety through different plants, especially of the same kind, there is discovered a surprising uniformity: again, where nature seems to have

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