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and the thoughts which external things seem to suggest, are thus, in part at least, suggested by the permanent emotion within.
When Eloisa, in Pope's celebrated Epistle, thinks of the invention of letters, the only uses which her train of thought suggests, are those which are analogous to the circumstances of her own passion.
“Heaven first taught letters for some wretch's aid,
Some banish'd lover, or some captive maid ;
And waft a sigh from Indus to the Pole."* The temporary diversities of state, that give rise to varieties of suggestion, are not mental only, but corporeal ; and this difference of bodily state furnishes another secondary law, in modification of the primary. I need not refer to the extreme cases of intoxication or actual delirium,-to the copious flow of follies, which a little wine, or a few grains of opium, may extract from the proudest reasoner. In circumstances less striking, how different are the trains of thought in health and in sickness,-after a temperate meal and after a luxurious excess! It is not to the animal powers only, that the burthen of digestion may become oppressive, but to the intellectual also ; and often to the intellectual powers even more than to the animal. In that most delightful of all states, when the bodily frame has recovered from disease, and when in the first walk beneath the open sunshine, amid the blossoms and balmy air of summer, there is a mixture of corporeal and mental enjoyment, in which it is not easy to discriminate what images of pleasure arise from every object, that, in other states of health, might have excited no thought or emotion whatever.
" See the wretch, that long has toss'd
On the thorny bed of pain,
And breathe and walk again!
To him are opening paradise.”+ There is yet another principle which modifies the primary laws of suggestion with very powerful influence. This is the
• V. 51–58.
Principle of habit. I do not speak of its influence in suggesting images, which have been already frequently suggested in a certain order, for it would then be simpler to reduce the habit itself to the mere power of association. I speak of cases, in which the images suggested may have been of recent acquisition, but are suggested more readily in consequence of general tendencies produced by prior habits. When men of different professions observe the same circumstances, listen to the same story, or peruse the same work, their subsequent suggestions are far from being the same ; and could the future differences of the associate feelings that are to rise, be foreseen hy us at the time, we should probably be able to trace many of them to former professional peculiarities, which are thus always unfortunately apt to be more and more aggravated by the very suggestions to which they have themselves given rise. The most striking example, however, of the power of habit in modifying suggestion, is in the command which it gives to the orator, who has long been practised in extemporary elocution ; a command not of words merely, but of thoughts and judgments, which, at the very moment of their sudden inspiration, appear like the long weighed calculations of deliberative reflection. The whole divisions of his subject start before him at once ; image after image as he proceeds, arises to illustrate it; and proper words in proper places are all the while embodying his sentiments, as if without the slightest effort of his own.
In addition then, to the primary laws of suggestion, which are founded on the mere relation of the objects or feelings to each other, it appears that there is another set of laws, the operation of which is indispensable to account for the variety in the effects of the former. To these I have given the name of secondary laws of suggestion ;-and we have seen, accordingly, that the suggestions are various as the original feelings have been, 1st, Of longer or shorter continuance ; 2dly, More or less lively ; 3dly, More or less frequently present; 4thly, More or less recent ; 5thly, More or less pure, if I may so express it, from the mixture of other feelings ; 6thly, That they vary according to differences of original constitution ; 7thly, According to the differences of temporary emotion ; 8thly, According to the changes produced in the state of the body; and 9thly, According to general tendencies produced by prior habits.
The first four laws, which relate rather to the momentary feelings themselves than to the particular frame of mind of the individual, have, it must be remembered, a double opera
tion. When the two associate feelings have both, together, or in immediate succession, been of long continuance, very lively, freqeuntly renewed in the same order, and that recently, the tendency to suggest each other is most powerful. But the greater tendency,-though then most remarkably exhibited, -is not confined to cases in which these laws are applica. ble to both the associate feelings. It is much increased, even when they apply only to that one which is second in the succession. The sight of an object which is altogether new to us, -and which, therefore, could not have formed a stronger connexion with one set of objects than with another,—will more readily recall to us, by its resemblance or other relation, such objects as have been long familiar to us, than others which may have passed frequently before us, but with which we are little acquainted. The sailor sees every where some near or distant similarity to the parts of his own ship; and the phraseology, so rich in nautical metaphors, which he uses, and applies, with most rhetorical exactness, even to objects perceived by him for the first time, is a proof, that for readiness of suggestion, it is not necessary that the secondary laws of suggestion should, in every particular case, have been applicable to both the suggesting and the suggested idea.
Even one of these secondary laws, alone, may be sufficient to change completely the suggestion, which would otherwise have arisen from the operation of the primary laws; and it is not wonderful, therefore, that when many of them, as they usually do, concur in one joint effect, the result in different individuals should be so various. Of the whole audience of a crowded theatre, who witness together the representation of the same piece, there are probably no two individuals, who carry away the same images, though the resemblances, contiguities, contrasts, and in general what I have called the primary, in opposition to the secondary laws of suggestion, may have been the same to both. Some will perhaps think afterwards of the plot, and general development of the drama; some, of the merits of the performers ; some will remember little more, than that they were in a great crowd, and were very happy; a gay and dissipated young man will perhaps think only of the charms of some fascinating actress; and a young beauty will as probably carry away no remembrance so strong, as that of the eyes which were most frequently fixed
By the consideration of these secondary laws of suggestion, then, the difficulty, which the consideration of the primary laws left unexplained, is at once removed. We see now, how
one suggestion takes place rather than another, when, by the operation of the mere primary laws, many suggestions might arise equally ; the influence of the secondary laws modifying this general tendency, and modifying it, of course, variously, as themselves are various.
THE DEGREE OF LIVELINESS OF THE SUGGESTING FEELINGS INFLUENCES GREATLY THAT OF THE FEELINGS SUGGESTED.
My last Lecture, Gentlemen, was employed in an inquiry, which very naturally arises from the consideration of the various relations according to which suggestion may take place ; —why, if the same object, as either perceived or imagined by us, is capable, by its almost innumerable relations, of suggesting the conception of various other objects, it suggests, at any particular time, one of these, rather than another ? To say, that certain objects suggest certain other objects which are similar to them, opposite to them in quality, or formerly proximate in place or time, is to say nothing in explanation of this difficulty, but only to state the very difficulty itself; since it is to state various relations, according to which various conceptions may indifferently arise. It is evident, therefore, that whatever may be the number of these primary laws of suggestion,-or general circumstances of relation, according to which the parts of our trains of thought may suggest each other, there must be other circumstances, which modify and direct the operation of the primary laws. To these modifying circumstances I gave the name of secondary laws of suggestion; the classification of which,-though not less interesting or important than the classification of the general circumstances which constitute the primary laws,--has been altogether neglected, even by those philosophers who have endeavoured to arrange the primary relations.
The chief part of my last lecture was employed, accordingly, in inquiring into the general circumstances which constitute the secondary laws of suggestion; those circumstances by which it happens, that one suggestion takes place rather than another, when according to the mere primary laws either suggestion might equally occur.
To repeat then, briefly, that enumeration which was the result of our inquiry, the occasional suggestions that flow from the primary laws, on which our trains of thought depend, are various, as the original feelings have been, 1st, Of longer or