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some other, must succeed in their dealings with the government. It is called 'The Multiplication Table,' and is so far calculated for the immediate service of her majesty, that the same person who is fortunate in the lottery of the state, may receive yet farther advantage in this table. And I am sure nothing can be more pleasing to her gracious temper than to find out additional methods of increasing their good fortune who adventure any thing in her service, or laying occasions for others to become capable of serving their country who are at present in too low circumstances to exert themselves. The manner of executing the design is, by giving out receipts for half guineas received, which shall entitle the fortunate bearer to certain sums in the table, as is set forth at large in the proposals printed the 23d instant. There is another circumstance in this design which gives me hopes of your favour to it; and that is what Tully advises, to wit, that the benefit is made as diffusive as possible. Every one that has half a guinea is put into the possibility, from that small sum, to raise himself an easy fortune: when these little parcels of wealth are, as it were, thus thrown back again into the redonation of Providence, we are to expect that some who live under hardship or obscurity may be produced to the world in the figure they deserve by this means. I doubt not but this last argument will have force with you, and I cannot add another to it, but what your severity will, I fear, very little regard, which is, that I am, SIR, 'Your greatest admirer,


See the advertisement annexed to No. 417, and note in this edition. The advertisement referred to, and the letter here given, are restored from

No. 414. WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25, 1712.


On the Pleasures of the Imagination.*

CONTENTS.-The works of nature more pleasant to the imagination than those of art. The works of nature still more pleasant, the more they resemble those of art. The works of art more pleasant the more they resemble those of nature. Our English plantations and gardens considered in the foregoing light.

-Alterious sic

Altera poscit opem res et conjurat amicè.

HOR. Ars Poet, 411.

But mutually they need each other's help.

If we consider the works of nature and art as they are qualified to entertain the imagination, we shall find the last very defective in comparison of the former for though they may sometimes appear as beautiful or strange, they can have nothing in them of that vastness and immensity which afford so great an entertainment to the mind of the beholder. The one may be as polite and delicate as the other, but can never show herself so august and magnificent in the design. There is something more bold and mas

the original papers of the Spectator in folio, having been dropped in all the subsequent editions, to illustrate a circumstance in Steele's history unfairly and invidiously stated by Swift, where in his journal letters to Mrs. Johnson he tells her, with an illiberal exultation, or an unfriendly and unfeeling jocularity, 'Steele was the other day arrested for a scheme of a lottery contrary to act of parliament; but it is thought the prosecution will be dropt out of tenderness to him '-or words to the same purpose, for the annotator is under the necessity here of quoting from memory. The curious reader may easily be satisfied of the futility of this idle information, by having recourse to the preceding references. It is almost needless to add, that when Steele was obstructed in his design, he religiously repaid the subscriptions.

* See the three preceding and the eight following papers.

terly in the rough careless strokes of nature, than in the nice touches and embellishments of art. The beauties of the most stately garden or palace lie in a narrow compass, the imagination immediately runs them over, and requires something else to gratify her; but in the wide fields of nature, the sight wanders up and down without confinement, and is fed with an infinite variety of images, without any certain stint or number. For this reason we always find the poet in love with the country life, where nature appears in the greatest perfection, and furnishes out all those scenes that are most apt to delight the imagination.

'Scriptorum chorus omnis amat nemus, et fugit urbes.'
HOR. 2 Ep. ii. 77.

To grottos and to groves we run,
To ease and silence, ev'ry muse's son.'


'Hic secura quies, et nescia fallere vita,
Dives opum variarum; hic latis otia fundis,
Speluncæ, vivique lacus, hic frigida Tempe,
Mugitusque boum, mollesque sub arbore somni.'

'Here easy quiet, a secure retreat,

VIRG. Georg. ii. 476.

A harmless life that knows not how to cheat,
With home-bred plenty the rich owner bless,
And rural pleasures crown his happiness.
Unvex'd with quarrels, undisturb'd with noise,
The country king his peaceful realm enjoys:
Cool grots, and living lakes, the flow'ry pride
Of meads, and streams that through the valley glide;
And shady groves that easy sleep invite,
And, after toilsome days, a sweet repose at night.'


But though there are several of these wild scenes that are more delightful than any artificial shows, yet we find the works of nature still more pleasant, the more they resemble those of art: for in this case our pleasure rises from a double principle-from the

agreeableness of the objects to the eye, and from their similitude to other objects. We are pleased us well with comparing their beauties, as with surveying them, and can represent them to our minds either as copies or originals. Hence it is that we take delight in a prospect which is well laid out, and diversified with fields and meadows, woods and rivers; in those accidental landscapes of trees, clouds, and cities, that are sometimes found in the veins of marble, in the curious fretwork of rocks and grottos; and, in a word, in any thing that hath such a variety or regularity as may seem the effect of design in what we call the works of chance.

If the products of nature rise in value according as they more or less resemble those of art, we may be sure that artificial works receive a greater advantage from their resemblance of such as are natural; because here the similitude is not only pleasant, but the pattern more perfect. The prettiest landscape I ever saw, was one drawn on the walls of a dark room, which stood opposite on one side to a navigable river, and on the other to a park. The experiment is very common in optics." Here you might discover the waves and fluctuations of the water in strong and proper colours, with the picture of a ship entering at one end, and sailing by degrees through the whole piece. On another there appeared the green shadows of trees waving to and fro with the wind, and herds of deer among them in miniature, leaping about upon the wall. I must confess, the novelty of such a sight may be one occasion of its pleasantness to the imagination;

This refers to the fine representations of nature produced by the optical instruments called the camera obscura, the eye, &c. in a darkened room, which were probably new at the date of this paper.

but certainly the chief reason is its near resemblance to nature, as it does not only, like other pictures, give the colour and figure, but the motion of the things it represents.

We have before observed that there is generally in nature something more grand and august than what we meet with in the curiosities of art. When, therefore, we see this imitated in any measure, it gives us a nobler and more exalted kind of pleasure than what we receive from the nicer and more accurate productions of art. On this account our English gardens are not so entertaining to the fancy as those in France and Italy, where we see a large extent of ground covered over with an agreeable mixture of garden and forest, which represent everywhere an artificial rudeness, much more charming than that neatness and elegancy which we meet with in those of our own country. It might indeed be of ill consequence to the public, as well as unprofitable to private persons, to alienate so much ground from pasturage and the plough, in many parts of a country that is so well peopled, and cultivated to a far greater advantage. But why may not a whole estate be thrown into a kind of garden by frequent plantations, that may turn as much to the profit as the pleasure of the owner? A marsh overgrown with willows, or a mountain shaded with oaks, are not only more beautiful but more beneficial than when they lie bare and unadorned. Fields of corn make a pleasant prospect; and if the walks were a little taken care of that lie between them, if the natural embroidery of the meadows were helped and improved by some small additions of art, and the several rows of hedges set off by trees and flowers that the soil was capable of receiving, a man

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