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of logic, which should consist only in the developement of this simple tendency of suggestion, has rendered so obscure, what would have been very clear, but for the labour which has been employed in striving to make it clear, that it will be necessary to dwell a little longer on these separate tribes of relations, at least on the most important tribes of them, not so much for the purpose of shewing what they are, as to shew what they are not.
The first species of relation, to which I am to direct your particular attention, is that of resemblunce.
When, in considering the relation of resemblance, we think only of such obvious suggestions, as those by which we feel the similarity of one mountain or lake, to another mountain or lake, or of a picture to the living features that seem in it almost to have a second life, we regard it merely as a source of additional pleasure to the mind, which, in moments that might otherwise be listless and unoccupied, is delighted and busied with a new order of feelings. Even this advantage of the relation, slight as it is, when compared with other more important advantages of it, is not to be regarded as of little value. I need not say, of how much pleasure the imitative arts, that are founded on this relation, are the source. In the most closely imitative of them all, that which gives to us the very forms of those, whose works of genius, or of virtue, have commanded or won our admiration, and transmits them from age to age, as if not life merely, but immortality, flowed in the colours of the artist's pencil; or, to speak of its still happier use, which preserves to us the lineaments of those whom we love, when separated from us either by distance or the tomb,-how many of the feelings which we should regret most to lose, would be lost but for this delightful art,-feelings that ennoble us, by giving us the wish to imitate what was noble in the moral hero or sage, on whom we gaze, or that comfort us, by the imaginary presence of those whose affection is the only thing that is dearer to us, than even our admiration of heroism and wisdom. The value of painting will, indeed, best be felt by those who have lost, by death, a parent or much-loved friend, and who feel that they would not have lost every thing, if some pictured memorial had still remained.
Then, for a beam or joy, to light
la memory's sad and wakeful eye ;
In the wide variety of pature, how readily do we catch the resemblance of object to object, and scene to scene.
With what pleasure do those, who have been long separated from the land of their youth, trace the slightest similarity to that familiar landscape which they never can forget! In reading the narratives of voyages of discovery, there is something which appears to me almost pathetic, in the very names given by the discoverers, to the islands, or parts of islands or continents, which they have been the first to explore. We feel how strong is that omnipresent affection, which, in spaces that have never been traversed before, at the widest distance which the limits of the globe admit, still binds, to the land which gave them birth, even those to whom their country can scarcely be said to be their home, so much as the ocean which divides them from it. It is some rock, or river, or bay, or promontory of his native shore, that, before he has given a name to the rock, or river, or bay, or promontory which he sees, has become present to the sailor's eye, and made the most dreary waste of savage sterility seem, for the moment, a part of his own populous soil of cultivation and busy happiness.
Of the influence of this suggestion on our complex emotion of beauty, I shall have an opportunity of speaking afterwards. At present it is only as a mere physical fact, illustrative of the peculiar mental susceptibility which we are considering, that I remind you of the pleasure which we feel in every similarity perceived by us, in new scenes and forms, to those with which we have been intimately and happily familiar.
These immediate effects of the feeling of obvious resemblance, however, delightful as they may be, are, in their permanent effects, unimportant, when compared with the results of resemblances of a more abstract kind, the resemblances to which we owe all classification, and, consequently, everything which is valuable in language.
That classification is founded on the relation of similarity, of some sort, in the objects classed together, and could not have been formed, if the mind, in addition to its primary powers of external sense, had not possessed that secondary power, by which it invests with certain relations the objects which it perceives, is most evident. All which is strictly sensitive in the mind might have been the same as now; and the perception of a sheep might have succeeded, one thousand times, the perception of a horse, without suggesting the notion, which leads us to form the general term quadruped, or animal, inclusive of both; for the relation is truly oo part of the object perceived by us, and classed as 'relative and correlative, each of which would be precisely the same, in every quality which it possesses, and in every feeling which it directly excites, though the others, with which it may be classed, had no existence. It is from the laws of the mind which considers them, that the relation is derived, not from the laws or direct qualities of the objects considered. But for our susceptibilities of those affections, or states of the mind, which constitute the feeling of similarity, all objects would have been to us, in the scholastic sense of the phrase, things singular, and all language, consequently, nothing more than the expression of individual existence. Such a language, it is very evident, would be of little service, in any respect, and of no aid to the memory, which it would oppress rather than relieve. It is the use of general terms,—that is to say, of terms founded on the feeling of resemblance, which alone gives to language its power,--enabling us to condense, in a single word, VOL. II.
the innumerable objects, which, if we attempted to grasp them all individually in our conception, we should be as little able to comprehend, as to gather all the masses of all the planets in the darrow concavity of that hand which a few particles are sufficient to fill, and which soon sinks oppressed with the weight of the few particles that fill it.
That man can reason, without language of any kind, and consequently without general terms,-though the opposite opinion is maintained by many very eminent philosophers,—seems to me not to admit of any reasonable doubt, or, if it required any proof, to be sufficiently shewn, by the very invention of the language which involves these general terms, and still more sensibly by the conduct of the uninstructed deaf and dumb,—to which also, the evi. dent marks of reasoning in the other animals,-of reasoning which I cannot but think as unquestionable as the instincts that mingle with it,-may be said to furnish a very striking additional argument from analogy. But it is not less certain, that, without general terms, reasoning must be very imperfect, and scarcely worthy of the name, when compared with that noble power which language has rendered it. The art of definition, which is merely the art of fixing, in a single word or phrase, the particular circumstance of agreement of various individual objects, which, in consequence of this feeling of relation, we have chosen to class together, gives us certain fixed points of reference, both for ourselves and others, without which, it would be impossible for us to know the progress which we have made,-impossible to remember accurately the results even of a single reasoning, and to apply them with profit to future analysis. Nor would knowledge be vague only,-it would, but for general terms, be as incommunicable as vague ; for it must be remembered, that such terms form almost the whole of the great medium by which we communicate with each other. “ Grammarians,” says Dr Reid, " have reduced all words to eight or nine classes, which are called parts of speech. Of these there is only one, to wit, that of nouns, wherein proper names are found. All pronouns, verbs, participles, adverbs, articles, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections, are general words. Of nouns, all adjectives are general words, and the greater part of substantives. Every substantive that has a plural number, is a general word; for no proper name can have a plural
humber, because it signifies only one individual. In all the fifteen books of Euclid's Elements,” he continues, " there is not one word that is not general ; and the same may be said of many large vol
In the account which Swift gives of his Academy of Projectors in Lagado, he mentions one project for making things supply the place of language ; and he speaks only of the difficulty of carrying about all the things necessary for discourse,-which would be by far the least evil of this species of eloquence; since all the things of the universe, even though they could be carried about as commodiously as a watch or a snuff box, could not supply the place of language, which expresses chiefly the relations of things, and which, even when it expresses things themselves, is of no use but as expressing or implying these relations, which they bear to us or to each other.
“There was a scheme," he says, " for entirely abolishing all words whatsoever, and this was urged as a great advantage in point of health, as well as brevity. For it is plain, that every word we speak is, in some degree, a diminution of our lungs by corrosion, and, consequently, contributes to the shortening of our lives. An expedient was therefore offered, that, since words are only names for things, it would be more convenient for all men to carry about them such things as were necessary to express a particular business they are to discourse on. And this invention would certainly have taken place, to the great case, as well as health of the subject, if the women, in conjunction with the vulgar and illiterate, had not threatened to raise a rebellion, unless they might be allowed the liberty to speak with their tongues, after the manner of their forefathers; such constant irreconcileable enemies to science are the common people. However, many of the most learned and wise adhere to the new scheme of expressing themselves by things, which has only this inconvenience attending it, that, if a man's business be very great, and of various kinds, he must be obliged, in proportion, to carry a greater bundle of things upon his back, unless he can afford one or two strong servants to attend him. I have often beheld two of these sages almost sinking under the weight of their packs, like pedlars among us; who, when they
* Reid on the Intellectual Powers, Essay V. c. 1.