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thereby wholly turn the imagination from the repetition of the former idea. . Or suppose the spectator placed where he may take a direct view of such a building, what will be the consequence ? the necessary consequence will be, that a good part of the basis of each angle, formed by the intersection of the arms of the cross, must be inevitably lost; the whole must of course assume a broken unconnected figure; the lights must be unequal, here strong, and there weak; without that noble gradation which the perspective always effects on parts disposed unin. terruptedly in a right line. Some or all of these objections will lie against every figure of a cross, in whatever view you take it. I exemplified them in the Greek cross, in which these faults appear the most strongly; but they appear in some degree in all sorts of crosses. Indeed, there is nothing more prejudicial to the grandeur of buildings, than to abound in angles—a fault obvious in many, and owing to an inordinate thirst for variety, which, whenever it prevails, is sure to leave very little true taste.
SECT. XI.-MAGNITUDE IN BUILDING. To the sublime in building, greatness in dimension seems requisite; for, on a few parts, and those small, the imagination cannot rise to any idea of infinity. No greatness in the manner can effectually compensate for the want of proper dimensions. There is no danger of drawing men into extravagant designs by this rule; it carries its own caution along with it; because too great a length in buildings destroys the purpose of greatness which it was inteuded to promote; the perspective will lessen it in height as it gains in length, and will bring it at last to a point, turning the whole figure into a sort of triangle, the poorest in its effect of almost any figure that can be presented to the eye. I have ever observed, that colonnades, and avenues of trees, of a moderate length, were, without com. parison, far grander than when they were suffered to run to immense distances. A true artist shonld put a generous deceit on the spectators, and effect the noblest designs by easy methods. Designs that are vast only by their dimensions are always the sign of a common and low imagination. No work of art can be great, but as it deceives; to be otherwise, is the prerogative of nature only. A good eye will fix the medium betwixt an excessive length or height (for the same objection lies against both), and a short or broken quantity: and perhaps it might be ascertained to a tolerable degree of ex. actness, if it was my purpose to descend far into the particulars of any art.
SECT. XII.-INFINITY IN PLEASING OBJECTS.
INFINITY, though of another kind, causes much of our pleasure in agreeable, as well as of our delight in sublime images. The spring is the pleasantest of the seasons; and the young of most animals, though far from being completely fashioned, afford a more agreeable sensation than the full grown, because the imagination is entertained with the promise of something more, and does not ac. quiesce in the present object of the sense. In unfinished sketches of drawing I have often seen something which pleased me beyond the best finish. ing; and this, I believe, proceeds from the cause I. have just now assigned.
sect. XIII.-DIFFICULTY. ANOTHER source of greatness is Difficulty.* When any work seems to have required immense force and labour to effect it, the idea is grand. Stone. henge, neither for disposition nor ornament, has any thing admirable; but those huge rude masses of stone, set on end, and piled on each other, turn the mind on the immense force necessary for such a work; nay, the rudeness of the work increases this cause of grandeur, as it excludes the idea of art and contrivance ; for dexterity produces another sort of effect, which is different enough from this.
SECT. XIV.-MAGNIFICENCE. MAGNIFICEnce is likewise a source of the sublime. A great profusion of things, which are splendid or valuable in themselves, is magnificent. The starry heaven, though it occurs so very frequently to our view, never fails to excite an idea of grandeur. This cannot be owing to any thing in the stars themselves, separately considered. The number is cer. tainly the cause. The apparent disorder augments the grandeur, for the appearance of care is highly contrary to our ideas of magnificence. Besides, the stars lie in such apparent confusion, as makes it impossible, on ordinary occasions, to reckon them. This gives them the advantage of a sort of infinity. In works of art, this kind of grandeur, which consists in multitude, is to be very cautiously admitted ; because a profusion of excellent things is not to be attained, or with too much difficulty; and because, in many cases, this splendid confusion would de. stroy all use, which should be attended to in most of the works of art with the greatest care ; besides,
Part IV. sect. 4, 5, 6.
it is to be considered, that unless you can produce an appearance of infinity by your disorder, you will have disorder only without magnificence There are, however, a sort of fireworks, and some other things, that in this way succeed well, and are truly grand. There are also many descriptions in the poets and orators, which owe their sublimity to a richness and profusion of images, in which the mind is so dazzled as to make it impossible to at. tend to that exact coherence and agreement of the allusions, which we should require on every other occasion. I do not now remember a more striking example of this, than the description which is given of the king's army in the play of Henry the Fourth :
All furnish'd, all in arms,
To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus. In that excellent book, so remarkable for the vi. vacity of its description, as well as the solidity and penetration of its sentences, the Wisdom of the Son of Sirach, there is a noble panegyric on the high priest Simon, the son of Onias: and it is a very fine example of the point before us.
How was he honoured in the midst of the people, in his coming out of the sanctuary! He was as the morning star in the midst of a cloud, and as the moon at the full; as the sun shining upon the temple of the Most High, and as the rainbow giving light in the bright clouds; and as the flower of roses in the spring of the year, as lilies by the rivers of waters, and as the frankincense tree in summer; as fire and incense in the censer, and as a vessel of gold set with precious stones; as a fair olive tree budding forth fruit, and as a cypress which groweth up to the clouds. When he put on the robe of ho. nour, and was clothed with the perfection of glory, when he went up to the holy altar, he made the garment of holiness honourable. He himself stood by the hearth of the altar, compassed with his brethren round about; as a young cedar in Libanus, and as palm-trees compassed they him about. So were all the sons of Aaron in their glory, and the oblations of the Lord in their hands,'&c.
SECT. XV.-LIGHT. HAVING considered extension, so far as it is capable of raising ideas of greatness, colour comes next under consideration. All colours depend on light. Light, therefore, ought previously to be ex. amined; and with its opposite, darkness. With regard to light, to make it a cause capable of produc. ing the sublime, it must be attended with some circumstauces besides its bare faculty of shewing other objects. Mere light is too common a thing to make a strong impression on the mind; and without a strong impression nothing can be sublime. But such a light as that of the sun, immediately exerted on the eye, as it overpowers the sense, is a very great idea. Light of an inferior strength to this, if it moves with great celerity, has the same power; for lightning is certainly productive of grandeur, which it owes chiefly to the extreme ve. locity of its motion. A quick transition from light to darkness, and from darkness to light, has yet a greater effect. But darkness is more productive of sublime ideas than light. Our great poet was con