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of the individual, which are capable of affecting us with the strong emotions of the sublime, turn wholly on pain and danger, but those of society, on our desire of enjoyment; hence, as the sublime had its rise in pain, so beauty has its source in positive pleasure.

The passion caused by the great and the sublime in nature, when these causes operate most powerfully, is astonishment; by which all the motions of the soul are suspended, with some degree of horror. Whatever also is terrible with regard to sight, is sublime, whether this cause of terror be endued with greatness of dimensions or not; for it is impossible to look to any thing as trifling, or contemptible, that may be dangerous. To heighten this terror, obscurity, in general, seems necessary.

When we know the full extent of any danger, when we accustom our eyes to it, a great deal of the apprehension vanishes. Thus, in pagan worship, the idol is generally placed in the most obscure part of the temple; which is done with a view of heightening the awe of its adorers. Wherefore it is one thing to make an idea clear, and another to make it affecting to the imagination. Nay, so far is clearness of imagery from being absolutely necessary to influence the passions, that they may be considerably operated upon as in music, without presenting an image at all. Painting never makes such strong impressions on the mind as description, yet painting must be allowed to represent objects more distinctly than any description can do; and even in painting, a judicious obscurity, in some things, contributes to the proper effect of the picture. Thus, in reality, clearness helps but little towards affecting the passions; as it is, in some measure, an enemy to all enthusiasm whatsoever. *

positive pleasure, but from a rational inference drawn with an eye to selfinterest, and which may, in many instances, be deduced from self-preservation. Therefore, some ideas of beauty have their origin in self-preservation.

Distinctness of imagery has ever been held productive of the sublime.

All general privations are great, because they are terrible; as vacuity, darkness, solitude, silence. Greatness of dimension is a powerful cause of the sublime. Infinity is another source; though perhaps it may be resolved into magnitude. In all objects where no boundary can be fixed to the eye, as in the inside of a rotund, there must necessarily arise the idea of greatness. Another source of greatness is difficulty. When any work seems to have required immense force and labor to effect it, as in Stonehenge, the idea is grand. Magnificence, too, or a great profusion of any things which are splendid or valuable in themselves, is sublime.

With respect to colors, such as are soft or cheerful (except, perhaps, a strong red, which is cheerful) are unfit to produce great images. An immense mountain, covered with a shining green turf, as the author expresses it, is nothing in this respect to one dark and gloomy. The cloudy sky is more grand than the blue; and night more sublime and solemn than day; therefore, in historical painting, a gay or gaudy drapery can never have a happy effect: and in buildings, where a uniform degree of the most striking sublimity is intended, the materials should consist of sad and fuscous colors; and as darkness is productive of more

The more strongly the poet or orator impresses the picture he would describe upon his own mind, the more apt will he be to paint it on the imagination of his reader. Not that, like Ovid, he should be minute in description ; which, instead of impressing our imagination with a grand whole, divides our idea into several littlenesses. We only think the bold yet distinct strokes of a Virgil far surpass the equally bold but confused ones of Lucan. The term painting, in poetry, perhaps implies more than the mere assemblage of such pictures as affect the sight; sounds, tastes, feelings, all conspire to complete a poetical picture: hence, thi art takes

imagination by every inlet, and while it paints the picture, can give it motion and succession too.

What wonder, then, it should strike us so powerfully! Therefore, not from the confusion or obscurity of the description, but from being able to place the object to be described in a greater variety of views, is poetry superior to all other descriptive arts.

sublime ideas than light, the inside should have all that gloom which

may be consistent, at the same time, with showing the particular beauties of the architecture. Sounds also have a great power in producing the sublime: the noise of cataracts, raging storms, thunder; these overpower the soul, suspend its action, and fill all with terror. A sudden beginning also, or ceasing of sound, puts all our faculties on their guard. Low, tremulous, intermitting sounds, and the yelling of animals, all, as they inspire some degree of horror, conduce to exalt us into the sublime. Smells and tastes, particularly the ideas of excessive bitters or intolerable stenches, have some, though but a small share, in our ideas of greatness.

With respect to feeling, the idea of bodily pain in all the modes and degrees of labor, anguish, torment, is productive of the sublime; and nothing else in this sense can produce it. Hence, every cause of the sublime, with reference to the senses, evinces that the sublime is an idea belonging to self-preservation: that it is therefore one of the most affecting we have; that its strongest emotion is an emotion of distress, and that no positive or absolute pleasure belongs to it.

Beauty is that quality, or those qualities, of bodies, by which they cause love, or some passion similar to it. This idea cannot arise from proportion, since in vegetables and animals there is no standard by which we can measure our ideas of proportion; and in man, exact proportion is not always the criterion of beauty; neither can it arise from fitness, since then all animals would have beauty; every one seems best adapted to its own way of liv. ing; and in man, strength would have the name of beauty, which, however, presents a very different idea. Nor is it the result of perfection, for we are often charmed with the imperfections of an agreeable object. Nor, lastly, of the q alities of the mind; since such rather conciliate our esteem than our love. Beauty, there


fore, is no criterion of reason, but some merely sensible quality acting mechanically upon the human mind, by the intervention of the senses. I shall consider, therefore, says the author, in what manner these sensible qualities are disposed in such things as, by experience, we find beautiful, or which excite in us the passion of love, or some correspondent affection.

First, then, the qualities of beauty, as they are merely sensible qualities, are comparative smallness. Thus the diminutives of every language express affection. In the animal creation exclusive of their own species, it is the small we are inclined to be fond of. Secondly, they must be smooth ; a quality so essential, that few things are beautiful that are not smooth : in trees and flowers, smooth leaves are beautiful, smooth slopes in gardens, smooth streams in landscapes. Thirdly, to have a variety in the direction of parts. Fourthly, to have those parts not angular, but melted, as it were, into each other. Fifthly, to be of a delicate frame, without any remarkable appearance of strength. Sixthly, to have its colors clear and bright, but not very strong and glaring. Seventhly, or if it should have any gloomy colors, to have it diversified with others. In sounds, the most beautiful are the soft and delicate; not that strength of note required to raise other passions, nor notes which are shrill, or harsh, or deep. It agrees best with such as are clear, even, smooth, and weak. Thus there is a remarkable contrast between the beautiful and the sublime : sublime objects are vast in their dimensions; beautiful ones comparatively small. Beauty should be smooth and polished; the great, rugged and negligent. Beauty should not be obscure; the great ought to be dark and gloomy. Beauty should be light and delicate ; the great ought to be solid and even massive.

The author comes next to consider in what manner the sublime and beautiful are produced. As the sublime is founded on

pain and terror, which are but different degrees of an unnatural tension of the nerves, whatever produces this tension must be productive also of the sublime; but how any species of delight can be derived from a cause so apparently contrary to it, deserves to be considered.

As the body, by inactivity, contracts disorders, so labor is necessary to prevent those evils. Labor is an exertion of the contracting power of the muscles, and as such resembles pain, (which consists in tension or contraction) in every thing but degree. Thus, as common labor, which is a mode of pain, is the exercise of the grosser, a mode of terror is the exercise of the finer parts of the system. In this case, if the pain or terror be so modified as not to be actually noxious, they are capable of producing delight, since they serve to put the machine into motion. In visual objects, the eye labors to take in their great dimensions; and by a parity of reasoning; we may extend this to every sense in its reception of sublimity. Darkness has, by general consent of mankind and perhaps by its own painful operation on the sensory, been accounted terrible; too great a dilatation of the pupil of the eye, caused by darkness, may be offensive to the mind, as being primarily so to the organs of the body; and hence this sensation is so well fitted to produce sublimity."

Beauty, as we may gather from the attitude of any person beholding a beautiful object, arises from a quite contrary cause to the sublime, namely, from a universal relaxation of the

* The muscles of the uvea act in the contraction, but are relaxed in the dilatation of the ciliary circle. Therefore, when the pupil dilates, they are in

state of relaxation, and the relaxed state of a muscle is its state of rest. In an amaurosis, where these muscles are never employed, the pupil is always dilated. Hence darkness is a state of rest to the visual organ, and consequently the obscurity which the author justly remarks to be often the cause of the sublime, can affect the sensory by no painful impression ; so that the sublime is often caused by a relaxation of the muscles, as well as by a tension.

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