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& cause of terror only,--it is terror itself. It seems to bear about with it that awful sublimity, of which we are conscious,-an emotion, that as it animates our corporeal frame with one expansive feeling, seems to give a sort of dreadful unity to the whole thunders of the tempest, or rather to form one mighty being of the whole minute elements, that when they rage, impelling and impel. led, in the tumultuous atmosphere, are merely congregated, by accidental vicinity, as they exist equally together in the gentlest breeze, or in the stillness of the summer sky.
That sublimity should be reflected to the object from the mind, like beauty, is not wonderful; since, in truth, what we term beauty, and sublimity, are not opposite, but, in the greater number of cases, are merely different parts of a series of emotions, I have already, in treating of beauty, pointed out to you the error into which the common language of philosophers might be very apt to lead you, ---the error of supposing, that beauty is one emotion, merely because we have invented that generic or specific name, which comprehends at once many agreeable emotions; that have some resemblance, indeed, as being agreeable, and diffused, as it were, or concentrated in their objects, and are therefore classed together, but still are far from being the same. The beautiful, concerning which philosophers have been at só much pains in their enquiries, is, as we have seen, in the mode in which they conceive it to exist, a sort of real essence,--an universal a parte rei, which has retained its hold of the belief when other universals of this kind, not less real, had been suffered to retain a place, only in the insignificant vocabulary of scholastic logic,
Our emotions of beauty, I have said, are various; and, as they gradually rise, from object to object, a sort of regular progression may be traced from the faintest beauty, to the vastest sublimity. These extremes may be considered as united, by a class of intermediate feelings, for which grandeur might, perhaps, be a suitable term, that have more of beauty, or more of sublimity, according to their place in the scale of emotion. I have retained, however, the common twofold division of beauty and sublimity, not as thinking that there may not be intermediate feelings, which scarcely admit of being very suitably classed under either of these names, but because the same general reasoning must be applicable to all these states of mind, whatever names, or number of names, may VOL. II.
be given to the varieties that fill up the intervening space. Indeed, if all the various emotions, to which, in their objects, we attach the single name of beautiful, were attentively considered, we might find reason to form, of this single order, many subdivisions, with their appropriate terms; but this precision of minute nomenclature, in such a case, is of less importance, if you know sufficiently the general fact involved in it,--that there is not one beauty, or one sublimity, but various feelings, to which, in their objects, we give the name of beauty, and various feelings, to which, in their objects, we give the name of sublimity; and that there may be intermediate feelings, which differ from these, as these respectively differ from each other. That which happens, in innumerable other cases, has bappened in this case; we have a series of many feelings ; we have invented the names, sublimity and beauty, which we have attached to certain parts of this series ; and, because we have invented the names, we think that the emotions which they designate, are more opposed to each other, than they seemed to us before.' One feeling of beauty differs from another feeling of beauty ; but they are both comprehended in the same term, and we forget the difference. One feeling of sublimity differs, in like manner, from another feeling of sublimity; but they also are both comprehended in one term, and their difference too is forgotten. It is not so, when we compare one emotion of beauty with another emotion of sublimity; the feelings are then pot merely different, but they are expressed by a different term; and their opposition is thus doubly forced upon us. If we had not invented any terms whatever, we should have seen, as it were, a series of emotions, all shadowing into each other, with differences of tint, more or less strong, and rapidly distinguishable. The invention of the terms, however, is like the intersection of the series, at certain places, with a few well-marked lines. The shadowing may still, in itself, be equally gradual; but we think of the sections only, and perceive a peculiar resemblance in the parts comprehended in each, as we think that we perceive a peculiar diversity at each bending line.
To be convinced how readily the feelings, contrasted as they may seem at last, have flowed into each other, let us take some example. Let us imagine that we see before us, a stream gently gliding through fields, rich with all the luxuriance of summer, over-shadowed at times by the foliage that hangs over it, from bank to bank, and then suddenly sparkling in the open sunshine, as if with a still brigther current than before. Let us trace it, till it widen to a majestic river, of which the waters are the boundary of two flourishing empires, conveying abundance equally to each, while city succeeds city, on its populous shores, almost with the same rapidity as grove formerly succeeded grove. Let us next behold it, losing itself in the immensity of the ocean, which seems to be only an expansion of itself, when there is not an object to be seen but its own wild amplitude, between the banks which it leaves, and the sun that is setting, as if in another world, in the remote horizon ;-in all this course, from the brook, which we leap over, if it meet us in our way to that boundless waste of waters, in which the power of man, that leaves some vestige of his existence in every thing else, is not able to leave one lasting impression,—which, after his feets have passed along in all their pride, is, the very moment after, as if they had never been, and which bears or dashes those navies that are contending for the mastery of kingdoms, only as it bears or dashes the foam upon its waves,-if we were to trace and contemplate this whole continued progress, we should have a series of emotions, which might, at each moment, be similar to the preceding emotion, but which would become, at last, so different from our earliest feelings, that we should scarcely think of them as feelings of one class. The emotions which rose, when we regarded the nurrow stream, would be those which we class as emotions of beauty. The emotions which when we considered that infinity of waters, in which it was ultimately lost, would be of the kind which we denominate sublimity; and the grandeur of the river, while it was still distinguishable from the ocean, to which it was proceeding, might be viewed with feelings, to which some other name or names, might, on the same principle of distinction, be given. This progressive series, we should see very distinctly, as progressive, if we had not invented the two general terms; but the invention of the terms, certainly, does not alter the nature of these feelings, which the terms are employed merely to signify.
Innumerable other examples,-from increasing magnitude of dimensions, or increasing intensity of quality,-might be selected, in illustration of that species of sublimity which we feel in the
contemplation of external things, as progressively rising from emo tions that would be termed emotions of beauty, if they were considered alone. It is unnecessary, however, to repeat, with other examples, what is sufficiently evident, without any other illustration, from the case already instanced.
The same progressive series of feelings, which may thus be traced as we contemplate works of nature, is not less evident in the contemplation of works of human art, whether that art have been employed in material things, or be purely intellectual. From the cottage to the cathedral—from the simplest ballad air, to the harmony of a choral anthem-from a pastoral to an epic poem, or a tragedy-from a landscape, or a sculptured Cupid, to a Cartoon, or the Laocoon—from a single experiment in chemistry, to the elucidation of the whole system of chemical affinities, which regulate all the changes on the surface of our globe—from a simple theorem, to the principia of Newton :-In all those cases in which I have merely stated what is beautiful and what is sublime, and left a wide space between, it is easy for your imagination to fill up the interval; and you cannot fill up this interval without perceiving, that, merely by adding what seemed degree after degree, you arrive at last at emotions which have little apparent resemblance to the emotions with which the scale began. It is, as in the thermometric scale; by adding one portion of caloric after another, we rise at last, after no very long progress, from the cold of freezing, to the heat at which water boils ; though our feelings, at these two points, are as different as if they had arisen from causes that had no resemblance ;-certainly as different as our emotions of sublimity and beauty.
In the moral scene, the progression is equally evident. By adding virtue to virtue, or circumstance to circumstance in the exercise of any virtue, we rise from what is merely beautiful to what is sublime.
Let us suppose,
for example, that in the famine of an army, a soldier divides his scanty allowance with one of his comrades, whose health is sinking under the privation. We feel, in the contemplation of this action, a pleasure, which is that of moral beauty. In proportion as we imagine the famine of longer duration, or the prospect of relief less probable, the action becomes more and more morally grand or heroic. Let us next imngine, that the comrade, to whose relief the soldier makes this
generous sacrifice, is one whose enmity he has formerly experienced on some interesting occasion; and the action is not heroic merely, it is sublime. There is not a virtue, even of the most tranquil or gentle sort, wbich we may not, in like manner, render sublime, by varying the circumstance in which it is exercised; and by varying these gradually we pass through a series of emotions, any two of which may be regarded as not very dissimilar; though the extremes, when considered without the parts of the series which connect them, may scarcely have even the slightest similarity.
When I speak of this progression of our feelings, by which emotion after emotion may rise, from the faintest of those which we refer to beauty, to the most overwhelming of those which we term sublime, I am far from wishing you to think that such a progress is in all cases necessary to the emotion; I allude to it merely for the purpose of shewing, that sublimity is not by its nature, of a class of feelings essentially different from beauty; and that we may, therefore, very readily conceive, that the laws which we have found applicable to beauty may be applicable to it also.
So far is it, indeed, from being indispensable to sublimity, that beauty should be the characteristic of the same circumstance, in a less degree, that in many instances, what is absolutely the reverse of beautiful, becomes sublime, by the exclusion of everything which could excite of itself that delightful but gentle emotion. A slight degree of barren dreariness in any country through which we travel, produces only feelings that are disagreeable; a wide extent of desolation, when the eye can see no verdure as far as it can reach, but only rocks that rise at irregular intervals, through the sandy waste, has a sort of savage sublimity, which we almost delight to contemplate. In the moral world, the audacity of guilt cannot seem beautiful to us in any of its degrees ; but it may excite in us, when it is of more than ordinary atrocity, that species of emotion which we are now considering. Who is there who can love Medea as she is represented to us in the ancient story? But to whom is she not sublime? It is not in Marius, that we would look for a model of moral beauty ; but what form is there, which the painter would feel more internal sublimity in designing, than that bloodthirsty chief, sitting amid the ruins of Carthage,