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conceptions arise ; as the power of vision is that capacity of the mind, by which we are sensible of the varieties of light; and we might as well speak of a power of seeing a particular colour, distinct from vision, as of a power of conceiving the same particular colour, distinct from the influence of the general tendency of the mind that is termed by us suggestion. When I hear the sound of my friend's name,-and the conception of my friend immediately arises, there is not, in the production of this one mental state, the operation both of a power of association or suggestion, and of a power of conception ; but there is a developement of that single capacity, or property of the mind, in consequence of which, certain conceptions arise, after certain other conceptions or perceptions. We may call this particular property either the capacity of conception, or the capacity of suggestion, as we please ; the one term-conception—having more immediate reference to the object conceived, the other-suggestion-to the conceiving mind; but the feeling itself of which we speak,-the particular conception suggested,—whether we regard it in reference to the mind in which it rises, or to the object which it seems to represent; and, by whatever word, or combination of words, we may chuse to designate it, is still only one affection of the mind, -as a man is still the same individual being, whatever name we may give to him,—whether we call him simply a man, or speak of him by his own individual appellation, or in his different relations to other beings, like himself, a son, a brother, a father. The mistake which has led to this distinction of the power of conception from the power of suggestion, by which our conceptions arise, I shewed to be that vague, but universal mistake, as to the nature of association, which supposes a certain mysterious union of the suggesting and suggested idea, to precede their mutual suggestion,-in which case, this supposed mysterious union, and the rise of the conception itself, occurring at different periods, might indeed be allowed to be indicative of different mental powers or properties.
After shewing our conceptions to be only particular modifications or examples of the general power of suggestion,-which would be a word absolutely without meaning, if nothing were suggested, I proceeded to consider our remembrances, analyzing these into two distinct parts, a particular conception of some object
or feeling remembered, and the accompanying feeling of a certain relation of priority to our present consciousness. The simple conception which forms one of the elements of the remembrance, and differs in no respect from the conceptions that are unaccompanied with the notion of a relation of time, is of course reducible to the power of simple suggestion, to which all our conceptions are to be referred; the feeling of the relation of priority, which forms its other element, is, like our feeling of every other relation, an effort of that general susceptibility of relation suggested, which we are to consider afterwards. The remembrance, therefore, being a complex feeling, is a proof of these two susceptibilities of the mind, to which we owe the constituent elementary feelings; but it is not a proof of any third power, more than the sight of a rose, combined with the perception of its fragrance, is a proof that we possess some third sense or power, distinct from those which give us the elementary sensations of colour and odour, of which our complex sensation is formed. What we term ineinory, then, in distinction from mere conception, is not a new power, but merely a complex result of different mental capacities; as my complex feeling when I look at an extensive landscape, and regard the various contiguities, or other local relations, of the parts to each other, high or low, above or beneath, remote or near, is a proof, indeed, that I have a capacity of discerning relations, as well as a capacity of vision, but not a prouf of any power distinct from both, and requiring, therefore, a separate place in our primary classifications of the intellectual functions. The relations of time, in this respect, do not differ from the relations of place; our conceptions may be combined with the one as much as with the other; and the remembrance, in every case, is a mere conception, like any other mere conception, combined with a certain feeling of relation, and nothing more.
Of the inestimable advantages which we receive from that composition of feelings which constitutes memory, I have already treated too fully, to need to recal them to your attention. You know it as that to which we are indebted for all the knowledge which we possess,-not merely for every thing which raises us above the ignorance and superstition of the vulgar, to the noble luxuries of science and enlightened belief, but for every thing VOL, II.
which raises us above that state of unreflecting imbecility, compared with which, the dull glimpses of thought that determine the half-instinctive actions of the idiot, in avoiding danger, and seeks ing the gratisication of his animal appetites, would be wisdom and philosophy. In the rich, and ever-ready stores of a well-cultivated mind, we have the only image, which we can in any way acquire, of the Omniscience of the Sovereign Intellect, of that BEING, to whom omniscience, in all its infinity of comprebension of whatever is, and of whatever is to be, is the knowledge only of the wonders of His own creative power. We acquire our knowledge slowly, but we retrace it rapidly. The universe itself, when we bave enriched our memory with the knowledge of its laws, may thus, in some measure, be said to be comprized in a single retrospective thought of man,-in a single thought of the frail and dependent creature, who, as an individual, is scarcely to be counted as any thing in that very infinity which he comprehends and measures :
" What wealth, in Memory'firm record,
Nor is it only intellectual wealth which we thus acquire and preserve; it is by our remembrances that we are truly mural beings, because we owe to them the very conception of every thing which can be the object of morality. Without them there could be no esteem,-no gratification for kindness received-no compassion for those who are in sorrow-no love of what is honourable and benevolent. How many of our purest affections might we trace through a long series of reciprocal kindnesses, to the earliest years of our boyhood—to the field of our sports-to the nursery -to the very cradle in which our smile answered only still fonder smiles that hung ceaseless around it! The Greeks, in their Theogony, by a happy allegorical illustration of the importance of this principle, to all the exercises of fancy and the understanding, fabled the Muses to be Daughters of Menory. They might, with equal truth, have given the same parentage to the Virtues.
The next class of phenomena, ascribed erroneously to a peculiar intellectual power, which remains to be considered by us, is that which comprehends the phenomena of imagination. We not merely perceive objects, and conceive or remember them simply as they were, but we have the power of combining them in various new assemblages,-of forming at our will, with a sort of delegated omnipotence, not a single universe merely, but a new and varied universe, with every succession of our thought. The materials of which we form them are, indeed, materials that exist in every mind; but they exist in every mind only as the stones exist shapelessly in the quarry, that require little more than mechanic labour to convert them into common dwellings, but that rise into palaces and temples only at the command of architectural ge. nius.
of men, who people his delightful world,
Such are the sublime functions of imagination. But we must not conceive, merely because they are sublime, that they comprehend the whole office of imagination, or even its most important uses. It is oi far more importance to mankind, as it operates in the common offices of life,–in those familiar feelings of every hour, which we never think of referring to any faculty, or of estimating their value in reference to other classes of feelings. What are all those pictures of the future, which are for ever before our eyes, in the successive hopes, and fears, and designs of life, but imaginations, in which circumstances are combined that never perhaps, in the same forms and proportions, have existed in reality, and which, very probably, are never to exist but in those very hopes and fears which we have formed ? The writer of romance gives secret motives and passions to the charac. ters which he invents, and adds incident to incident in the long series of complicated action which he developes. What he does, we, too, are doing every hour ;-contriving events that never are to happen,-imagining motives and passions,—and thinking our little romances, of which ourselves, as may be supposed, perhaps are the primary heroes, but in the plot of which there is a sufficient complication of adventures of those whom we love, and those whom we dislike, connected with the main piece, or episodically intermingled. Our romances of real life, though founded upon facts, are, in their principal circumstances, fictions still; and, though the fancy which they display may not be as brilliant, it is still the same in kind with that which forms and fills the
*Pleasures of Imagination, second form of the poem, B. IV. v. 66—130, – with the substitution, in v. 68, of “ Stores of secret wealth," instead of
“ Pleasing stores, unless the casual force of things external prompt the heedless miud To recogoize her wealth."
The addition after “sense,” in v. 78. (or v. 11, as quoted) of “Their latent charms," in the next rerse, the exclusion of the verses from 19 to
will," in v. 108, and the exclusion also of v. 127.