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gaze on the splendid scene, and there is a pleasant emotion excited in our minds.
In reading the story of the two friends, Damon and Pythias, who were objects of the cruelty of Dionysius, we are struck with the closeness of their friendship; and while we think on the fidelity of the returning friend, and on their mutual contest for death, a pleasing emotion arises in the mind.
When examining Dr. Paley's reasoning in proof of the existence of the Deity, and observing how every part is brought to bear on the particular object in view, while one example after another gives additional strength to the argument, we admire the skill of the reasoner and the perfection of his work, and in view of this skill and this finished work, a grateful emotion arises in the mind.
It will be observed in these examples, that the emotion excited is not strong,—that it is of a grateful kind, and that it may continue for some time. This is called an emotion of beauty.
The traveller, when he stands on the banks of some noble river, flowing on with the power of collected waters, and bearing on its bosom the wealth of the surrounding region, is conscious of emotions, which, as they rise and swell within him, correspond to the scene on which he looks.
Burke has given the following biographical notice of Howard the celebrated philanthropist.
“ He has visited all Europe, not to survey the sumptuousness of palaces, or the stateliness of temples ; not to make accurate measurements of the remains of ancient grandeur; not to form a scale of the curiosities of modern art; not to collect medals, or collate manuscripts;
-but to dive into the depths of dungeons; to plunge into the infection of hospitals; to survey the mansions of sorrow and pain; to take the guage and dimensions of misery, depression and contempt; to remember the for
gotten, to attend to the neglected, to visit the forsaken, and to compare and collate the distresses of all men in all countries. His plan is original; and it is as full of genius, as it is of humanity. It was a voyage of discovery, a circumnavigation of charity.”
No one can read this passage, and not feel a high degree of admiration at the devotedness and elevation of purpose it describes.
When the orator stands up before collected thousands, and for an hour sways them at his will by the powers
of his eloquence, who, in that vast throng, can regard the speaker before him and feel no admiration of his genius?
The emotions excited in these and similar instances, have been called emotions of grandeur. They differ from those of beauty in that they are more elevating and ennobling.
Byron, in his description of a thunder storm in the Alps, has the following passage :
“ Far along,
Back to the joyous Alps who call to her aloud." Who in the midst of Alpine scenery could thus listen to the voice of the leaping thunder, and not start with strong emotion ?
We are told, that when Regulus had been sent by the Carthaginians to Rome, bearing conditions of peace, which were humbling to his own nation, he delivered his message, and boldly advised that the terms proposed should not be received. He then, in fulfilment of his plighted faith, left his country, and resisting the entreaties of his family and friends, went back to meet torture and death from his enraged enemies, thus exhibiting an adınired example of Roman patriotism and good faith.
We are told, that when Newton drew near to the close of those calculations, which confirmed his discovery of the laws, by which the planets are bound in their courses, he was so overwhelmed with emotion, that he could not proceed, and was obliged to ask the assistance of a friend. No one can think of the mighty intellectual work that was then accomplished, and not feel as he did, an overpowering emotion.
To the emotions excited in these last mentioned examples is applied the epithet sublime. They are less permanent than those of grandeur, but more thrilling and exalting.
In these examples, the emotions which are excited, arise neither from a moral approbation of the objects or of the actions as virtuous, nor from a personal interest in them as affecting our happiness. How, then, are they excited ?
The answers to this inquiry have been numerous. Some have said, that there is a distinct sense, which enables the mind to discern in objects something which is fitted to excite emotions of taste, and which is suited to this purpose, in the same manner as the sense of hearing is suited to sounds. Others have attempted to resolve the whole into the principle of the association of ideas, and have said, that in every instance where an emotion of the kind mentioned is excited, some associated thoughts connected with our happiness, are brought before the mind. Thus, in the second of the examples given, they would say, that the grateful emotion arises from the thought of our own past friendships, or of how much we should enjoy the possession of a faithful friend. Others account for these emotions by referring them to what are called primary laws of our nature. So far as these emotions are excited in view of natural objects and scenes, they say, that our Creator has so formed us and adapted us to the world in which we live, that the view of certain objects and scenes is fitted to excite in the mind certain corresponding emotions.-At the same time they allow, that much influence is to be ascribed to the principle of association. In reference to works of art, another original principle is also recognized, which is called the love of fitness or adaptation. The last theory is that of Brown, and is the one now generally received. For a full explanation of it, the student is referred to his work on Intellectual Philosophy. It is enough for my present purpose to have pointed out the class of emotions which comes under the cognizance of taste, and to have referred to some of the attempts to explain them.
It will be observed, that the examples which are given, are drawn from three different classes of objects, natural, moral, and intellectual. But since, in the classification of emotions, as those of beauty, grandeur and sublimity, we obviously refer to the emotions as they exist in the mind, and not to the objects by which they are excited, this diversity in the exciting objects is not regarded, Neither is it of importance, that these different classes of emotions should here be separately considered. It is difficult in many cases to mark the transition from one to another, and to decide whether the emotion excited be an emotion of beauty, of grandeur, or of sublimity. These three classes of emotions are alike objects of the attention of taste; and the principles and rules established in reference to one class, admit of application to the others. Hence the attention is principally directed to emotions of beauty, and emotions of each class are sometimes called emotions of taste.
I return now to the definition of taste. Every instance of judgment implies knowledge of those subjects, on · which it is exercised. The chemist cannot form his mixture, that shall possess certain required properties, without a knowledge of the properties of the several simples
which are ingredients. In those instances of judgment also which are included under taste, there is in the same manner knowledge implied; but as this is the knowledge of emotions, and can be acquired only by experience, taste is said to be founded on the experience of past emotions.
Though taste in the definition which has now been explained, is called judgment, it is not meant, that in the exercise of taste, the mind is ordinarily conscious of deliberation or of the balancing of reasons, as in some other instances of judgment. It is true, that this deliberation may be rapidly passed through in all instances, and in some, as in the case of the artist employed in designing and executing his work, there may be a consciousness of the process. But most frequently, judgment on objects of taste seems to be passed instantaneously. As the result of past experience of emotions, certain principles seem fixed in the mind, and when taste is called into exercise, it is the immediate application of these principles to particular instances. The analogy is elose between the exercise of taste in works of the fine arts, and of taste, as the word is literally applied to the sense of taste. Take for example the case of wines. The wine merchant is able at once to decide as to the quality of the wine presented to him, and to detect any foreign ingredient. He has acquired his ability to do this by his past experience, and he brings the results of this past ex. perience, which seems to exist as certain fixed principles, to the particular instance in which his judgment is required.
Sensibility as connected with taste. From the definition that has been given of taste, we may learn in what way sensibility is connected with its attainment. By sensibility, is meant a high degree of susceptibility of the emotions of beauty. And since taste is founded on the experience of these emotions, sensibi