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out being able to speak, and discovered strong emotions of pleasure in her countenance, probably from a sudden association of all her early domestic connexions and enjoyments with the words I had uttered. From that time she began to recover. She is now living, and seldom fails, when we meet, to salute me with the echo of the eagle's nest.1*
In this very striking case, according to the theory which I have stated to you, it was not, I conceive, the mere remembrance of the nest, and of her early enjoyments, that produced the excitement of lively feeling so delightful at the moment, and so solutary in its seeming consequences. This mere remembrance might have been produced by the same words, uttered in any tone, by any speaker. But, if the suggestion had arisen from the voice of a stranger, how very different, we have
every reason to suppose, would the effect have been, to the mind in which the images were awakened! It was the presence of him, who had been her companion, in the years, and scenes, and pleasures recalled, that made the remembrance, for the time, something more than mere imagination,
his felt reality as a part of the former whole all present to her mind,a reality, the illusive effects of which were probably aided in a high degree by the cheerful tone that harmonized with the images excited, when a sudden or more serious tone would perhaps have dissolved or lessened the illusion. The friend of her youth was present, while some of the most interesting events of her youth, of which his presence and cheerful voice formed a part, were suddenly brought before her; and it is not wouderful, therefore, that, in the sudden happiness of the remembrance, the whole, for the moment, should have seemed present with him.
“A house, a farm, a fruit tree, and a classical book," says the same writer, “have often carried the mind back to the innocent and delightful scenes of a country school. liar colour in dress, a tune, and a line of
ne, and a line of poetry, have often revived the raptures of courtship; while the fife and the drum have renewed, in a veteran soldier, the transports of 'his youthful victories and glory. An old native African obtained permission from his master, some years ago, to go from home, in order to see a lion that was conducted as a show through the state of New Jersey. The moment he saw him, in spite of the torpid habits of mind and body contracted by fifty years' slavery, he was transported with joy, which he vented by jumping, dancing, and loud acclamations. He had been familiar
* Lect. XI. On the Utility of a knowledge of the Faculties of the Mind to a Physician, p. 269.
with that animal, when a boy, in his native country; and the sight of him suddenly poured upon his mind the recollection of all his enjoyments, from liberty and domestic endearments, in his own country, in the early part of his life.”*
In these cases, in like manner, I conceive the chief influence of the perception to have consisted in the diffusion of its own felt reality, over the associate feelings with which it continued to coexist and blend. It is not the mere remembrance, therefore, of the military music, to which he marched, in days of long past fatigue, or peril and glory, that produces in the veteran the vivid emotion. It must be the very sound itself. The drum, or the trumpet, must be heard by him, so as to restore to him the past, as if present again with all the lively feelings of other years ;—while every other moment, breaking the charm, and convincing him of the unreality of the scenes and persons that are only imagined, gives a melancholy tenderness to the pleasure, as if the objects of it were alternately recovered and lost. The tumultuous emotions of the old Negro did, indeed, arise, as Dr. Rush says, from the sudden pouring on his mind of early and delightful remembrances, but not, as he supposes, from this alone ; since these very remembrances had probably recurred innumerable times when the emotion was far weaker. It was because the lion, with the sight of which the African had been familiar in his youth, and which after so long and so sad an interval, brought before him again by suggestion, the woods or the waters of his native land, -was a living thing truly existing before him,-a part of that complex group of images which formed the conception of the land of his birth, of his parental home, of his early friendships, of his freedom; and, as itself real, shedding, in some measure, a part of its own reality on the other images that coexisted with it. It seems probable, even that the strong emotion of terror, or of adventurous daring, which, in his own land, had been excited by the presence of that mighty animal,-and which the mere sight of the formidable object could scarcely fail to awaken again, in some slight degree, by the influence of mere association, -would tend very powerfully to increase the influence of the mere reality, by the additional liveliness which it would give to the harmonizing parts of the remembered scene.
It may perhaps be thought, that, in supposing this diffusion of the feeling of external reality,—from an object perceived, to the suggested conceptions that coexist with it, -I assume more, in the present case, than any analogous phenomena jus
• Lect. ult. On the Pleasures of the Mind, p. 448-9,
tify. To those, however, who are acquainted with the theory of vision,—as explained to you in former Lectures, it must on the contrary appear, that the explanation takes for granted nothing more, than the possibility of that which must be allowed to take place, during almost every moment of our waking hours, in by far the most important class of our perceptions. All, which we see by the eye,-even if superficial extension be truly seen by it,-is a mere expanse of light, various perhaps in tint, more or less brilliant, and more or less extended. It is by the suggestion and combination of the associate ideas of another sense, that we seem to perceive longitudinal distance, and all the figures which depend on it. Yet the associate ideas, which are of course only imaginary, and the real sensations, are so blended in our mind, that we ascribe external reality equally to both parts of the complex whole. We do not see, and remember, or infer; but the sight, and the mere remembrance, or inference, form, as it were, one common and equal sensation, which we term vision. The diffusion, of which I spoke, or, in other words, the communication of the feeling of reality from an object of perception to conceptions suggested by it, and continuing to coexist with the direct perception, here unquestionably takes place,--and takes place at every moment of vision. When I suppose, therefore, the Swiss, on hearing the familiar song of his native cottage, to spread over the image of his cottage that reality, which is actually felt in the song, I suppose only an operation, of precisely the same kind with that, which took place, as often as the cottage itself was a real object of his sight.
It is by a similar operation, that the superstitious, in twilight, incorporate their fears with the objects which they dimly perceive, till the whole thus compounded, assumes the appearance of external reality. The moanings of the wind are the voice of a spirit, to which their apprehension readily invents a language ; and the white sheet, or other swadowy outline, gives a sort of permanent and terrifying body to the spectres of their own mind. It is imagination, indeed, still; but it is imagination combined with perception, and readily harmonizing with it; and the spectral forms and voices seem truly to exist, because there are forms which are truly seen, and sounds which are truly heard.
THE DEGREE OF LIVELINESS OF THE SUGCESTING FEELINGS,
AFFECTS THAT OF THE FEELINGS SUGGESTED.-ON THE VIRTUAL COEXISTENCE OF FEELINGS.
GENTLEMEN, my lust Lecture was occupied with the consideration of a very important difference in our suggestions, according as they arise from the perception of objects really existing without, or from those mere conceptions of objects, which form a part of our trains of fancy. I quoted to you some ingenious remarks of Mr. Stewart on this subject, in which he endeavours to account for the difference, by the longer duration of the perception, which allows more thought and feelings, in unison with it, to mingle together, and thus to heighten, by combination, the emotion, which each, separately, would have produced.
of the very powerful influence which the greater permanency of our perceptions, than of our mere conceptions, must have, -by giving room for the coexistence of various relative feelings, there can be no doubt. But, as the emotion is, in many cases, almost instantaneous, --so rapid at least, that, if the difference of time were all, which in ordinary circumstances, distinguished the effect of the perception from that of the conception, the mere remembrance of the object which affects us, (being, though fugitive, at least as lasting, as the momentary interval, between the primary perception and the burst of feeling,) might equally have produced the overwhelming tenderness of sorrow ;-it seemed to me necessary to have recourse to some o:her circumstance, in addition to that supposed by Mr. Stewart.
This circumstance, which I conceived to be necessary for explaining fully the phenomenon, I represented to you to be the felt reality of the object perceived, as coexisting and blending with the conception that harmonizes with it, and thus giving to the whole complex group the temporary illusion of reality. That this is only one of many analogous phenomena, and, indeed, that nothing more is assumed, in the explanation,
than must be allowed truly to take place, at almost every moment of our waking hours, I proved to you by various examples ;—particularly by the example of vision,-in which there is a constant extension to our mere conceptions of that external reality, which exists only in a part of the complex whole which we seem to perceive ;-the form which we give to the bodies seen by us, and which we believe to be as much an object of our sight, as their colour, being the suggestion of our memory only, and as imaginary, in relation to our percipient mind, as any other conceptions, which any other perceptions excite. If, indeed, we admit, as we cannot but admit, that we do not see, visually, any space, larger than the mere plane of the nervous expansion in the eye-or rather, as I endeavoured to shew you in a former Lecture, that we do not see directly and originally any space whatever—and that, on either of these suppositions, the forms and distances, which we perceive, derive all their felt present reality, from the reality of the existing sensation of colours which blends with them,-it cannot surely seem a very bold assumption to suppose, that what is thus indisputably true, of one set of sensations, when coexisting with one set of conceptions, may be true, of the same set of sensations, when coexisting with another set of conceptions, at least as vivid as the former.
I may remark, as an analogous illustration of this tendency of the mind to combine the reality of perception with the harmonizing conceptions which it suggests, and with which it continues to blend, that an effect in some degree similar, different, indeed, as might be supposed, in force, but analogous in kind,seems to take place, in the combination of any very vivid conception with other mere conceptions,-when these two harmonize and unite readily as a complete whole. There is, as it were, a diffusion of the vividness of the one, over the faintness of the other. The more vivid,—that is to say, the more nearly approaching to the strength of reality, the one conception may be, the more fully it is diffused in unison with the other, and the more difficult, consequently, does it become, to regard this other as separate from it, so difficult, indeed, in many cases, as almost to resist the iniluence of the most undoubting speculative belief. In the case of our emotions,the very nature of which is to throw a peculiar vividness on the conceptions that harmonize with them, there can be no doubt as to this diffusion of lively feeling-by the influence of which, in impassioned reverie, our conceptions, that would otherwise be comparatively faint, sometimes appear to us more truly real, than the objects really existing without. It is not wonderful, therefore, that the effect which our emotions, as