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ancholy suggestions, by suggestions of a different kind, it is evident, that we should not merely prevent the aggravations of distress which they occasion, but could not fail even to alleviate what was felt before, by the revival of thoughts and emotions, which would bave no peculiar relation to the object lost. This, which we cannot by any contrivance completely produce, is the effect which time necessarily produces, hy rendering stronger the suggestion of recent objects and events, and thus making every thing which meets our eyes, a memorial of every thing more than of him whom we lameht. What time more fully produces, is produced, in some degree, by mere change of scene,-especially if the country through which we pass be new to us—and is produced evidently in both cases, by the operation of the same principle.
Another very abundant source of the misery which is felt, in such a recent affliction, is the relation of the object lost to all the plans which have engaged us, and all the hopes which we have been forming. These, as the recent objects of thought, and its liveliest objects, must of course, by the operation of the common laws of suggestion, frequently arise to the mind. They all now, however, seem frustrated, and our whole life, as it were, in those feelings which alone constituted life to us, suddenly rent or broken. He who listens to the lamentations of a disconsolate parent, for the loss of an only child, cannot fail to perceive how much of the affliction depends on this very circumstance, and how readily the delightful cares of education in past years, and the equally delightful hopes of years that were to come, arise to embitter the anguish of the present. These cares and hopes must then arise, indeed, because they were the chief feelings with which the mind has been occupied. In the progress of time, however, other cares and other hopes, unconnected with the last object of regard, must necessarily engage the mind; and these, as more recent, arise, of course, more readily by suggestion, and thus fill—not the busy hours of action only, but the very hours of meditation and repose.
On these causes combined, I conceive the soothing intluence of time to depend. The melancholy is less frequently excited, hecause fewer objects now recal it, and it is at the same ime gentler when it is excited ; because it rises now, mingled, as it were, with other feelings that have at different times coexisted with it,
and modified it; and these circumstances, if they be not sufficient to account for the tranquillity, or serene grief, which ultimately arises, must at least be allowed to be circumstances that concur powerfully with whatever other unknown circumstance may be instrumental in producing the same happy influence.
Of the facts which this theory of the mollifying influence of time assumes, there can be no question. The same principle, by which the objects that surround us were originally connected with the conception of the object of our regret, must, of course, continue its operation, when that object itself has certainly ceased to exist, and must connect new objects, therefore, as it before conDected the past. In like manner the principle which led to the combination of feelings that gave peculiar vividness to any one of our emotions, must continue to combine new feelings with the very affliction; and to combine new feelings with it, is in some degree to alter its nature, in the same way as the thousand offices of kindness, to which reciprocal friendship gives occasion, alter continually, by augmenting with their own united influence, those simple feelings of regard in which the friendship had its origin.
Such, then, is the bountiful provision of Heaven, that man cannot long be wretched, from griefs to which his own guilt has not led,—and that sorrow, even though it had nothing else to comfort it, derives a never-failing comfort from that very continuance of affliction, which, but for our experience, might have seemed capable only of aggravating it. Time is truly the comforter, at once lessening the tendency to suggestion of images of sorrow, and softening that very sorrow when the images arise.
1. IMMEDIATE EMOTIONS, WHICH DO NOT NECESSARILY INVOLVE
ANY MORAL FEELING, CONTINUED.-II. WONDER AT WHAT IS
UNVARIED FEELINGS HAVE LONG CONTINUED. —III. ON BEAU
TY AND ITS REVERSE.
In my last Lecture, Gentlemen, I entered on the consideration of our Emotions; and after stating the small number of elementary feelings to which they seem'to admit of being reduced, and the reasons which led me to prefer the consideration of them in the complex state in which they usually exist, I proceeded to arrange these complex varieties of them, in three divisions, according to the relation which they bear to time, as immediate, retrospective, prospective. There are certain emotions which arise or continue in our mind, without referring to any particular object or time, such as cheerfulness or melancholy; or which regard their objects simply as existing, without involving, necessarily, any notion of time whatever,--such as wonder, or our feelings of beauty and sublimity ;—these I denominate inmediate. There are certain others which regard their objects as past, and which cannot exist without this notion of the past, such as remorse, or revenge, or gratitude; these I denominate retrospective emotions. There are certain others, which regard their objects as future, such as the whole tribe of our desires ;--these I denominate prospective emotions.
It was to the first of these divisions, of course, that I proceeded in the first place; and since man, in the most important light in which we can consider him, is a social being, united by his
emotions with whatever he can love or pity, or respect or adore, these and other moral emotions, seemed to form a very proper subdivision of this particular order, as distinct from the emotions, of the same order in which no moral feeling is involved.
The immediate emotions, in which no moral feeling is involved, and which admit, therefore, of being arranged apart, we found to be the following-cheerfulness, melancholy,-our wonder at what is new or unexpected, and that emotion of languid uneasiDess, which arises from the long continuance of the same objects, or of objects so nearly similar, as scarcely to afford the refreshment of variety-our feeling of beauty, and the emotion opposite to that of beauty-the emotion excited by objects which we term sublime, and the emotion, almost opposite to this, excited by objects which we term ludicrous.
I proceeded, accordingly, to consider these in their order; and in my last Lecture, offered some remarks on the first two in the series-cheerfulness and melancholy, that are obviously mere forms of two of the elementary feelings mentioned by me. then proceed to the consideration of the next in our arrangement -our feeling of wonder at what is new and strange, and of uneasy langour, when the same unvaried feelings have long continued.
Long before we are capable of philosophizing on the different states of our mind, in different circumstances, or even of preserving any distinct memory of these states, for subsequent speculations on their nature, we have already become familiar with many of the most important successions of events in that part of the physical universe, with which we are immediately connected, so that it is impossible for us to form any conjecture which can be said to approach to certainty, as to the positive nature of our primary feelings, when these successions of events were first observed by us. It seems most probable, however, that the feeling of wonder, which now attends any striking event that is unexpected by us, would not arise in the infant mind, on the occurrence of events, all of which might be regarded as equally new to it; since wonder implies not the mere feeling of novelty, but the knowledge of some other circumstances which were expected to occur, and is therefore, I conceive, inconsistent with absolute ig
At present, with the experience which we have acquired of
the order of physical changes, the situation of the mind is very
lating our future antic-
, physical trains of events,—or when familiar objects occur to us, in situations in which we are far from expecting to find them, a certain emotion arises, to which we give the name of astonishment, or surprise, or wonder, but which, whatever the name may be, is truly the same state of mind,—at least, as an emotion, the same ;-though different names may be given, with distinctive propriety, to this one emotion,—when combined or not combined with a process of rapid intellectual inquiry, or with other feelings of the same class.
When the emotion arises simply, for instance, it may be termed, and is more commonly termed, surprise ;—when the surprise, thus excited by the unexpected occurrence, leads us to dwell upon the object which excited it, and to consider, in our mind, what the circumstances may have been, which have led to the appearance of the object, the surprise is more commonly termed wonder, which, as we may dwell on the object long, and consider the possibilities of many circumstances, that may have led to the unexpected introduction of it, is of course, more lasting than the in stant surprise, which was only its first stage.