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A. To studied and profuse ornament.
A. Such a choice of circumstances in the description, as will exhibit the object in its full and most striking view.
Q. Which is most favourable to sublime poetry, rhyme or blank verse?
A. Blank verse; because of its boldness, freedom, and variety.
Q. By whom is the fullest proof of this afforded?
A. By Milton, in his Paradise Lost.*
Q. What are the proper sources of the sublime?
A. Great and awful objects in nature, and magnanimous and exalted affections of the human mind.
Q. Is the sublime an emotion which can be long protracted?/
* Take only, for an example, the following noted description of Satan, after his fall, appearing at the head of the infernal hosts :
He, above the rest,
A. No. The mind cannot long be kept raised above its common tone.
Q. In what manner is the sublime exhibited to us?
A. In sudden flashes of the imagination, which dart upon us like lightning from heaNo writer can supply a continued run of unmixed sublime conceptions.
Q. What are we to think of magnificent words; accumulated epithets; and swelling expressions?
A. That they have no relation to the true sublime.*
Q. What is the main secret of being sublime ?
A. To say great things in few and plain words.
Q. What are the faults opposite to the sublime?
A. The Frigid, and the Bombast.
Q. In what do these consist?
A. The Frigid consists in degrading an object or sentiment, which is sublime in itself, by our mean conception or low description of it; -the Bombast, in endeavouring to raise a low and trivial object into the sublime.
"God said, Let there be light: and there was light," is sublime. But, "the sovereign arbiter of nature, by the potent energy of a single word, commanded the light to exist," is bombast.
Q. What, next to sublimity, affords the highest pleasure to the imagination?
Q. How is the emotion which it raises, distinguished from that of sublimity?
A. It is of a calmer kind; more gentle and soothing; extends to a greater variety of objects; and admits of longer duration.
Q. What affords the simplest instance of beauty?
Q. What colours are generally chosen for beauty?
A. Delicate rather than glaring; such as the feathers of birds, the leaves of flowers, the fine variation of colours shown by the sky at the rising and setting of the sun.
Q. What forms of beauty does Figure open to us?
A. Such as are more complex and diversified. Q. What is first to be noticed in figure, as a source of beauty?
Q. Why does this appear beautiful to us? A. On account of its suggesting the ideas of fitness, propriety, and use; as, in cabinets, doors, windows, houses.
Q. If utility does not require it, is regularity most beautiful in figure?
A. No. Figures bounded by curve lines are,
in general, more beautiful than those bounded by straight lines and angles.
Q. On what two lines does the beauty of figure principally depend?
A. The waving line, or a curve bending backwards and forwards, as the letter S; and the waving curve twisted round some solid body, as twisted pillars and twisted horns.
Q. What affords another source of beauty, distinct from figure?
Q. What kind of Motion belongs to the beautiful?
A. The gentle only; as the motion of a bird gliding through the air, or of a smooth running stream.
Q. In what direction should it be, to be most beautiful?
A. In a waving, undulating direction, rather than in a straight line; and upwards, rather than downwards, as in the easy curling motion of smoke.
Q. What difference is observable between those movements which are necessary, and those which are designed to please?
A. The former are in straight or plain lines; the latter, in waving.
Q. If Colour, Figure, and Motion all meet in one object, what is the effect?
A. It renders the beauty greater and more complex.
Q. Where is the most complete assemblage of beautiful objects to be found?
A. In a rich natural landscape, where are fields in verdure, scattered trees and flowers, and animals grazing.
Q. What is the beauty of the human countenance ?
A. Very complex ;-comprehending the beauty of colour, and the beauty of figure.
Q. Upon what does the principal beauty of the human countenance depend?
A. Upon a mysterious expression which it conveys of the qualities of the mind; of good sense or good humour; of candour; benevolence; sensibility, or other amiable dispositions.
Q. What qualities of the mind raise in us a feeling similar to that of beauty?
A. Compassion, mildness, friendship, and generosity.
Q. What may this be called?
A. Moral beauty; as the exercise of heroism, magnanimity, contempt of death, was called moral sublimity.
Q. What holds so high a rank among our perceptions as to regulate our other ideas of beauty?
A. Our sense of fitness and design. If there is propriety in all the parts of a build"ing, there is beauty; if there is a want of it, there is deformity."
Q. What is beautiful writing?
A. That which is neither remarkably sub
*Twisted columns are ornamental; but if they are used to support a part of a building that is massy, they displease us, for there is an appearance of weakness.