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But I, though it was not properly my talent, said that we, being by nature rational and lovers of ingenuity, are [p. 315] delighted with and admire every thing that is artificially and ingeniously contrived. For as a bee, naturally loving sweet things, seeks after and flies to any thing that has any mixture of honey in it; so man, naturally loving ingenuity and elegancy, is very much inclined to embrace and highly approve every word or action that is seasoned with wit and judgment. Thus, if any one offers a child a piece of bread, and at the same time a little dog or ox made in paste, we shall see the boy run eagerly to the latter; so likewise if any one offers him silver in the lump, and another a beast or a cup of the same metal, he will rather choose that in which he sees a mixture of art and reason. Upon the same account it is that children are much in love with riddles, and such fooleries as are difficult and intricate; for whatever is curious and subtle doth attract and allure human nature, as antecedently to all instruction agreeable and proper to it. And therefore, because he that is really affected with grief or anger presents us with nothing but the common bare passion, but in the imitation some dexterity and persuasiveness appears, we are naturally inclined to be disturbed at the former, whilst the latter delights us. It is unpleasant to see a sick man, or one that is at his last gasp; yet with content we can look upon the picture of Philoctetes, or the statue of Jocasta, in whose face it is commonly said that the workmen mixed silver, so that the brass might represent the face and color of one ready to faint and yield up the ghost. And this, said I, the Cyrenaics may use as a strong argument against you Epicureans, that all the sense of pleasure which arises from the working of any object on the ear or eye is not in those organs, but in the intellect itself. Thus the continual cackling of a hen or cawing of a crow is very ungrateful and disturbing; yet he that imitates those noises well pleases the hearers. Thus to behold a consumptive man is no delightful spectacle; yet with pleasure we can view [p. 316] the pictures and statues of such persons, because the very imitating hath something in it very agreeable to the mind, which allures and captivates its faculties. For upon what account, for God's sake, from what external impression upon our organ, should men be moved to admire Parmeno's sow so much as to pass it into a proverb? Yet it is reported, that Parmeno being very famous for imitating the grunting of a pig, some endeavored to rival and outdo him. And when the hearers, being prejudiced, cried out, Very well indeed, but nothing comparable to Parmeno's sow; one took a pig under his arm and came upon the stage. And when, though they heard the very pig, they still continued, This is nothing comparable to Parmeno's sow; he threw his pig amongst them, to show that they judged according to opinion and not truth. And hence it is very evident, that like motions of the sense do not always raise like affections in the mind, when there is not an opinion that the thing done was not neatly and ingeniously performed.
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