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before we attempt to discover what is at the bottom, -or to speak without a metaphor, where there is so much confusion and perplexity, from opposite opinions, it is often of great advantage, to regard the subject, if we can so regard it, without reference to any former opinion whatever,-as if the phenomena were wholly new, or ourselves the first inquirers.

This I in part attempted, in my last Lecture,—the results of which it may be of advantage briefly to recapitulate.

Though we use the general name of Beauty, in cases in which there is a great variety of the objects that excite it, and a very considerable variety also in the emotion itself, which is thus excited,—the emotion, to which we give the name, in all its varieties, is uniformly pleasing. This, then, is one essential circumstance of the emotion of beauty,—or, to speak more accurately, of the tribe of different, though kindred emotions, which, from their analogy, we comprehend under that general name.

Another circumstance, which distinguishes the emotion of beauty, in all its varieties, from many other emotions, that are pleasing in themselves, is that, by a sort of reflex transfer to the object which excited it, we identify or combine our agreeable feeling with our very conception of the object, whether present or absent from us. Whatever is delightful, at the moment in which we gaze or listen with delight, seems to us to be contained in the beautiful object, as the charms which were contained in that fabulous Cestus described by Homer, that existed when none beheld them, and were the same, whether the Cestus itself was worn by Venus, or by Juno.

In illustration of this embodying, or reflecting process, the result of which seems to me to be that which constitutes an object to our conception as beautiful, it was necessary to offer some remarks, and especially to make some distinctions, without which, the supposition of this transfer of our delight, and diffusion of it, in the conception of the object that gave birth to it, might appear to involve a sort of absurdity; as if it implied, in the same object, a combination of material and mental affections, which are incapable of union.

It is particularly of importance, in this case, to distinguish our momentary sentiments from our philosophical judgments. As I be

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hold the sun, for example, it is impossible for me to regard it
but as a plane circular surface of a few inches diameter. As I
regard it philosophically, it is a sphere of such magnitude,
as almost to pass the limits of my conception. If I were asked,
what is the diameter of the sun ? I should endeavour to state
it, with as exact an approximation to its real magnitude as was
possible for me. But if I were to state what every one feels, who
knows nothing of astronomy, and what even the astronomer feels
as much as the vulgar, when he turns his eye to that great lumin-
ary, I should say, that the diameter was scarcely a foot;
ferent is our momentary sentiment, while we gaze, from the judg-
ments which we form philosophically, after we have ceased to
gaze ;-the impression of the momentary sentiment, too, it must
be remembered, being as irresistible as that of the judgment, or
rather the more irresistible of the two. In like manner, when I
look at any distant landscape, first with my naked eye, afterwards
with a telescope, held in one direction, and then with the same
telescope inverted, I have a most undoubting belief, that the ob-
jects, thus seen in three different ways, have continued exactly at
the same distance from me; but, if I were to state what I feel
visually, and what, with all my knowledge of the optical decep-
tion, it is impossible for me not to feel visually, I should say, in
each of these ways of viewing the scene, that the objects were at
very different distances. To recur, however, to that instance,
which brings the difference of the philosophical and the momen-
tary belief nearest to that which takes place in the feeling of beau-
ty-the case of the visual perceptions of colour--it is well known,
to every one who is acquainted with the theory of the secondary
or acquired perceptions of sight, that the colours, which seem to
us spread over that wide surface of landscape, which terminates in
the remote horizon, are spiritual, not corporeal modifications
the effect, indeed, of the presence of a few rays within the small
orbit of the eye, but an effect only, not a part, of the radiance;
and that we yet diffuse, as it were, the colour, which exists but as
a sensation of our mind, over those distant objects, which are not
mind, but matter. If we were asked, what the material colour is,
we should state, philosophically, that it is the unknown cause of
that colour which is our sensation,--that redness for example, is a
feeling of our own mind, and greenness a feeling of our own mind,

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and that what are truly redness and greenness in the external objects, being both equally unknown to us in themselves, have no other difference in our conception than as being the unknown causes of different mental feelings. This answer we should give philosophically ; but at the same time, it would be impossible for us to look on these unknown causes of our sensations of colour, without blending with them the very sensations which they cause, and seeing, therefore, in them the very greenness and redness which are feelings of our own mind. In like manner, when we philosophize on beauty, and separate the delight which is in us from the cause of the delight which is without us, beauty is simply that which excites in us a certain delightful feeling; it is like the greenness or redness of objects, considered separately from our perception of objects,-the greenness and redness, which material objects would have, though no mind sentient of colour were in existence. But, still this is not the beauty which we feel; it is only the beauty which we strive in vain to conceive. The external beauty which we feel, involves our very delight reflected on it, and diffused as much as, in the case of a visual object, it involves our sensations of colour diffused in it; the colour which we reflect, being in our mind, as the charm which we reflect, is also in our mind. In this sense, indeed, that ancient theory of beauty, which refers it to mind as its source, is a faithful statement of the phenomenon; since it is our own spiritual delight which we are continually spreading around us,-though, in the sense in which Plato and his followers intended their reference to be usderstood, it is far from being just, or, at least, far from having been proved to be just. In borrowing, therefore, the language which they use, we do not borrow a mere poetic rhapsody; but it becomes, with the interpretation which I would give it, the expression of a philosophic truth.


“Mind, mind alone--Bear witness, earth and heaven!
The living fountains in itself contains
Of beauteous and sublime !--Here, haod in band,
Sit paramount the graces ;-here, enthroned,
Celestial Venus, with divincst airs,
lovites the soul to never fading joy."*

• Pleasures of Imagination, Book I. v. 481-486.

It is the mind, indeed, alone, that, in the view which I have given you, is the living fountain of beauty, because it is the mind, which, by reflection from itself, embodies in the object, or spreads over it its own delight. If no eye, that is to say, if no mind, were to behold it, what would be the loveliest of those forms, on which we now gaze with rapture, and more than rapture ? A multitude of particles more or less near or remote. It is the soul in which these particles, directly or indirectly, excite agreeable feelings, which invests them in return with many seeming qualities that cannot belong to the mere elementary atoms which nature herself has made ; which gives them, in the first place, that unity as a single form, which they do not possess of themselves, since, of themselves, however near they may be in seeming cohesion, they are a multitude of separate and independent corpuscles,-which, at the same time, spreads over them the colours, that are more truly the effect of our vision than the cause of it,--and which diffuses among them still more intimately those charms and graces, which they possess only while we gaze, and without which, when the eyes that animate and embellish them are closed, they are again only a multitude of separate particles, more or less near or remote.

Another distinction to which I alluded, in my last Lecture, and which, though apparently, and even really a verbal one, is a distinction of great importance, in its influence on our assent,-is the difference of the phrases, colour, and sensation of colour,—beauty, and emotion of beauty. When we speak of colour or beauty simply, we speak of what we feel, without considering any thing more than the feeling itself. When we speak of the sensation of colour, and of the einotion of beauty, we speak of those feelings, with reference to the mind; and, though colour, as by us, must of course be the sensation of colour, and beauty, as felt by us, be the emotion of beauty, it appears to us proposition, to state, that, in vision, we combine our sensation of colour with external things, or our emotion of beauty with external things, and to say simply that we combine with them colour and beauty. We combine them, without knowing that we are combining them, consequently without thinking that the one is a sensation, the other an emotion, and both affections of mind alone. To think of them as a sensation and emotion, would be to have


a very different

formed already the philosophic judgment, which separates them from the object, not the mere momentary sentiment, which combines them with it. In the case of vision, there can be no doubt, that this is done, every moment by the lowest of the people, who have not the slightest suspicion that the colour, or rather the cause of colour, as it exists without, is different from that redness or blueness, which they think they see spread over the surface of objects; and it is not wonderful, therefore, that, in combining, in our notion of the beautiful object, the delightful feeling of our mind, we should do this, with as little suspicion, that the delight, which we have diffused over the object itself, is our own internal emotion.

That, in thinking of a beautiful object, we do consider some permanent delight as diffused, and, as it were, embodied in it, is, I think, evident, on the slightest reflection on the objects which we term beautiful. And yet, when we first think of this diffusion of a mental feeling over a material object,-if we have not been in the habit of attending to other phenomena of the mind,--the very supposition of such a process may seem to involve an assumption, that is scarcely warrantable ; precisely as the uneducated multitude,--and, perhaps, a very great majority of the smaller multitude, who are educated, would smile, with something more than unbelief, if we were to endeavour to make them acquainted with that part of the theory of vision, which relates to colour. But to those who have been in the habit of considering the mental phenomena in general, and particularly the phenomena commonly ascribed to association,—the diffusion of this fe "-e, and combination of it with our notion of the cause of the feeling, will seem only an instance of a very general law of our mental constitution. It is indeed, only an instance of that general tendency to condensation of feelings, which gives the principal value to every object that is familiar to us,—to the home of our infancy, to the walks of our youth,-to every gift of friendship,-nor only to these inanimate things, but, in a great measure also, to the living objects of our affection, to those who watched over our infant slumbers, or who were the partners of our youthful walks, or who left with us, in absence, or in death, those sacred gifts, which for a moment, supply their place, with that brief illusion of reality, which gives to our remembrance a more delightful sad

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