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OF

CRITICISM.

VOLUME II.

EDINBURGH:
Printed for A. Millar, London;

AND

A. Kincaid & J. Bell, Edinburgh,
MDCCLXII.

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ELEMENTS

O F

CRITICISM.

CHAP. X.
Congruity and Propriety.

MAN is distinguished from the brute creation, not more remarkably by the superiority of his rational faculties, than by the greater delicacy of his perceptions and feelings. With respect to the gross pleasures of fense, man probably has little superiority over other animals. Some obscure perception of beauty may also fall to theis share. But they are probably not acquainted with the more delicate conceptions of regularity, order, uniformity, or congruity.

A 2 Such Such refined conceptions, being connected with morality and religion, are reserved to dignify the chief of the terrestrial creation. Upon this account, no discipline is more suitable to man, or rriore congruous to the dignity of his nature, than that by which his taste is refined, to distinguish in every subject, what is regular, what is orderly, what is suitable, and what is fit and proper *.

No discerning person can be at a loss about the meaning of the terms congruity and propriety, when applied to dress, behaviour, or language; that a decent garb, for example, is proper for a judge, modest behaviour for a young woman, and a lofty

* Nec vero ilia parva vis naturae est rationisque, quod nnum hoc animal sentit quid sit ordo, quid sir quod deceat in sactis dictisque, qni modus. Itaque eorum ipfoium, quæ afpectu scntiuntur, nullum aliud animal, pukliriuidincm, venustatem, convenkntiam partium, sentit. Quam similitudinem natura ratioque ab oculis ad aninuim transferens, multo etiam magis pukhritudinem, constantiam, ordinem, in consiliis factisqae conservandum putat, cavetque ne quid indecore efferninateve saciat;, turn in omnibus et opinior.ibus et factis ne quid fibidinose aut faciat aut cogitet. . Quibus ex rebus conflatur et efficitur id, quod quærimus, honestum. Cicero <k offieiis, I. r.

\, . , style

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