play began at four o'clock; and, to act in a separate theatre for we are told, the ladies of fashion themselves. When this licence used to take the evening air in was obtained, many people of Hyde-Park; after the representa- quality came into a subscription tion; by which it appears, that for building a theatre within the the exhibitions were in summer walls of the Tennis Court in Lin. too, The principal actors were coln's-Inn-Fields. This new thea Betterton, Montfort, Kynafton, tre was opened in the middle of Sandford, Nokes, Underhill, and the summer of 1695; by the old Leigh, commonly. Tony Leigh; actors, with a new comedy of Mr. the actresses were, Mrs. Betterçon, Congreve’s, called Love for Love. Barry, Leigh, Butler, Montfort, and Bracegirdle, and to this company, in this year,

old Cibber was Concerning the perceptive faculty. admitted as a performer in the loweft rank. It was a cule with THAT there are fensations aria fon, who offered himself as an doubts, but what it is which is peractor, should be admitted into pay, ceptive of them, is a question till after at least half a year's pro- with some; whether it is man as a bation; and Cibber waited full compound being of foul and body, three quarters of a year, before he or whether the living percipient is was taken into a salary of 10s. not a mind, or spirit alone, witha week. This company continued out a body, or else a quality only, together till about the year 1694, resulting from the construction of when the patentees, having ex a body without any diftinct or fepended great sums upon the Pro- parate spirit annexed thereto. These phetess, and King Arthur, two are difficulties probably never to dramatic operas, thought fit to be demonstrated, and we must at reduce the pay of the actors, upon last be content with a probable whom they now less depended for proof only. support, that they might be better Man is so wonderfully made, that able to answer the exorbitant de- he seems to assign a place to every mands of singers and dancers: one of his sensations, and yet this attempt produced an associa- reason and experiment tells him, tion of the principal performers that in truth they cannot exist, or with Betterton at their head, be, where he is apt' too haftily to against the patentee ; several per- judge, or suppose them to be ; Sons of the highest distinction for, as nothing can act where it espcused their cause, and some- is not, fo the perceptive power of times, in the circle, entertained man cannot possibly perceive any the king with the state of the thing without or beyond himself. theatre. Betterton, and his party, It is generally agreed, that the at length obtained an audience of secondary qualities of body (as his majesty, who graciously dif- they are called) do not exíft ex. missed them, with an assurance of ternal to the man, but only the relief and support, and soon after primary ones, though Dr. Berkeempowered a select number of them ley attempted to thew that they


[ocr errors]

both exist together, and that ed as well as the light, and so both wherever the colour was; there the tangible and visible obje&t conlikewife was the extenfion. If this cluded, though too precipitately, could be satisfactorily made ap- to be in one and the same place pear, the doctor's system would where the obftruction is likewise stand good for the non-existence of judged to be, and hence I think is every thing, but spirit and ideas; obtained the supposition or fugbut I'thing it cannot, and to con- gestion of diftance ; and as we fine the argument to one senfe have no sensations to which we do alone, to wit, fight; that man not ascribe fome diftance, or place, perceives colour we are sure of, there must be place or space exand therefore it must be within ifting, or it could not be supposed. him, or he would act where he was And therefore as nothing is pernot. Now if he perceived extensceived, or suggested, but what is fion, that muft likewise be within fupposed in some place, so nothing him too, but then he could per- can exist, but what constitutes

extension larger than fpace, or is in it, and must have himself :--but as neither extension fome extension. nor colour have any place afügned But then the mind of man surethem in the body, furely 'tis not ly cannot be extended beyond his the body, or any conformation body, though it often fupposes an thereof, that perceives. We may extension far beyond ; and if the then suppose that it is something extension imagined was in the elfe which is joined with the body mind, and not a mere operation that is the percipient, which let thereof, by way of supposition, it us name mind or soul; this mind could not guess so much amifs should seem to be one fimple un about the extension of objects; compounded being, otherwise it which has not been familiar to the could not be conscious that suc- other organs of fense, as we often cefive perceptions were the affec- find it does; for I take it to be a tions of the same thing.

vulgar error, to entertain a notion Colour, though haltily judged of the mind's judging of any to be without the mind, Berkeley distance, or magnitudes, from any and Malbranche have, I think, pictures conjectured to be in the sufficiently thewed not to be fo; fund of the eye, or in itself; in and that extension is fo," I think is the former case, if there be any true; because it perceives none of picture in the bottom of the eye, its fenfations extended, but only it would judge every object in an affigns or fixes a place for them, inverse position to the body, which these of colour in particular, ex

is contrary to experience ; neither ternal to the man, although in docs the mind judge of magnitude fact they may not be without him, according to any such pi&tures, and this place is only determined but of the real external magniby an operation of the mind, fug- tudes, and feldom errs much, unless gesting or supposing dilance, froin the obje&ts be very remote.--If an experimental obitruction to the the bulk of objects were judged motion of some members of the of by the pictures in the eye, a body by which the touch is afic et flea or mite must judge every object


N 4

very small to what a man does, be- tion of the mind, to exift external cause the picture will be diminish. to it, and that if they did not fo ed nearly as the eye is lefs ; indeed exist, the mind could not imagine these insects may fee diftinctly any extension, figure, and motion; smaller thigs than man, because for there never is found any of the objects may be brought nearer them perceivable by it, nor any their imall eyes, without throwing figure or motion attending a fimthe focus of the rays beyond the ple sensation. Indeed it is too ketina, as the same distance of the commonly thought, that there is a object would do in a larger eye, shape perceived with colour, or a and prevent diftinét vision; and it coloured shape; but no object apis highly probable, that these small pears of one fimple colour to a infečts cannot see objects at a great fixed eye, but every part of the distance, unlefs they are much object exhibits a different degree larger than what a man can see at of colour, and these degrees are the like distance; but then what separate sensations, to which the they do fee, they judge to be of mind ascribes a place, though, in the same bigness that a man does, fact, the colour is not in the place and so muft every creature, let its fo judged of, but fomething else eyes be of what dimenfion or num that gives resistance to the actions ber you please. It is a vague no- of the mind on the body; and tion opticians have, who imagine from hence it fupposes there must that an eye, like a microscope lens, be something exiting there, which will magnify the picture on the gives rise to the colour perceived retina, whereas just the contrary by it.—'Tis imposible the mind takes place; for when the eye is should perceive the images of used alone, without such a lens, things within itself, unless it was the shorter focus of the eye forms equally extended with the things the picture, and the longer, is at themselves, and if not, how can the object; but when a lens is, it be thought that an ideal world used by way of a microscope, the can exilt within the mind, as some object is in the shorter, and the philosophers have conjectured ? picture at the longer focus, juft Surely it cannot be ; but it must contrary to the method of common be only imagination that directs us vision.

to the external existence of real Sa again, if the mind was con- things. We cannot properly be scious of a picture in the eye, it said to imagine what does not, or would perceive as many objects as has not, really existed; for let a the creature had eyes, whereas it blind man try if he can imagine judges of no more, let the number colour, or a deaf man found, and of eyes be as they will, than it does I fancy he will find himself at a by the help of any other of the loss. Father Malbranche indeed fenses.

tells us, that a man may have an From all which I conclude, that idea of a golden mountain that figure, extension, and motion, are never existed, and I can admit a not perceptible objects, but that man may recollect the figure of a fenfationsalone are such, the former mountain which he has formerly being only imagined by an operam imagined, and remember the co


lour of gold which he lately had a dejection of look, or inquietude perception of, and foppofe it pof- of heart. fible they may be coonected, and It is indeed apparent from the call this operation of his mind conftitution of the world, that an idea, if he pleases: but I fancy there must be a time for other after all his efforts, if he should thoughts; and a perpetual mediz happen to think of a mountain as tation upon the laft hour, how large as Shooter's hill, he will

ever it


become the folitude of hardly allow it to be contained in a monastery, is inconsistent with his mind.

A. B. many daties of common life. But

surely the remembrance of death ought to predominate in our minds

as an habitual and settled principle, Thoughts on Death.

always operating, though not always perceived, and our attention

fhould feldom wander fo far from MIhon has very judiciously re our own condition, as not to be

presented the father of man- recalled and fixed by the fight of kind as seized with horror and an event, which will soon, we aftonishment at the fight of death, know not how soon, happen likerepresented to him on the mount wise to ourselves, and of which, of Vision. For surely nothing though we cannot appoint the time, can fo much difturb the paflions, we may secure the consequence..' or perplex the intellects of man, as Yet, though every inftance of a disruption of his union with vi- death may justly awaken our fears, fible nature, a separation from and quicken our vigilance, it fel. every thing that has hitherto en dom happens that we are much gaged or delighted him ; a change alarmed, unlefs fome close connot only of the place, but the nection is broken, some scheme manner of his being : an entrance frustrated, or fome hope defeated. into a state, not simply unknown, There are therefore many, who but which perhaps he has not fa- seem to live without any reflection culties to know, an immediate and on the end of life, becaufe they perceptible communication with are wholly involved within themthe Supreme Being, and, what is felves, and look on others as un above all diftretsful and alarming, worthy their notice, without any the final fentence, and unalterable expectation of receiving, or in

tention of beftowing good. Yet we, whom the shortness of . It is indeed imposible, without life has made acquainted with mor- fome mortification of that desire, tality, can, without emotion, fee which every man feels of being generations of men pass away, are remembered and famented, to be at leisure to establish modes of for- hold how little concern is caused row, to adjust the ceremonial of by the eternal departure even of death, look upon funeral pomp as those who have passed their lives a ceremonial in which we have no with public honours, and been concern, and turn away from it ro: diftinguished by fuperior qualities, triftes and amufements, withoat or extraordinary performances

. It


is not poflible to be regarded lsy fäll; not becaufe he is more willing tenderness, except by a few. That to die than formerly, but because Merit which gives reputation and he is more familiar with the death fenown, diffuses its influence to a of others, and therefore not alarm. wide compafs, but acts weakly in ed so far as to confider how much every single breaft; it is placed at nearer he approaches to his end. a distance from common spectators, But this is to submit tamely to the and hines like one of the remote tyranny of accident, and to suffer fars, of which the light reaches our reason to lie useless. Every us, but not the heat. The wit, funeral may be justly considered as the hero, the philofopher, whom a summons to prepare for that ftare either their tempers, or their for- into which it is a proof that we tunes, have hindered from intimate must some time enter, and a fumrelations, or tender intercourses, mons more hard and piercing, as die often without any other effect the event of which it warns us is than that of adding a new topic to at less distance. To neglect at any the conversation of the day, and time making preparation for death, impress none with any fresh con is to sleep on our post at a fiege ; viction of the fragility of our na but to omit it in old age, is to ture, because none had any parti- fleep on an attack. cular interest in their . lives, . or It has always seemed to me, one were united to them by a reciprok of the most itriking passages in cation of benefits and endearments. the visions of Quevedo, where he 2. Thus we find it often happens, ftigmatises those as fools who com that those who in their lives have plain that they failed of happiness excited applause, and attracted ad- by sudden death. « How, fays miration, are laid at lait in the he, can death be sudden to a being, duft without the common honour who always knew that he must die, of a stone ; because by 'thofe ex and that the time of death was uncellencies, with which


certain ?" have been delighted, none have Since there are not wanting adbeen obliged ; and though they monitions of our mortality to prehad many to celebrate them, they serve it active in our minds, nohad none to love them.

thing can more properly' renew Cuftom so far regulates the fen- the impression than the examples timents at least of common minds, which every day supplies, and as that I believe men may be gene- the great incentive to virtue is the sally observed to grow less tender reflection that we must die, it may as they advance in age ; and he be useful to accuftom ourselves, who, when lifes

was new, melted whenever we see a funeral, to conat the loss of every companion, fider how foon we may be added can look, in time withouti con to the number of those whose procern, upon the grave into which bation is paft, and whose happiness his last friend was thrown, and or misery shall endure for ever. into which he himself is ready to

Your's, &c. P. P.

« ForrigeFortsett »