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subsequent to a perception of the nature of the sensation. Such, indeed, is our habit of speaking, concerning the emotion, as far as attendant upon any object of sense. It is both common and natural for all
those who have no idea of philosophy, and make no pretension to it, as truly as those who do, to assign reasons for thinking such objects beautiful. A young lady will exclaim at sight of a beautiful flower, and immediately, by way of expressing and explaining her emotion, dilate upon the softness or brilliancy of its colors, the smoothness of its petals, the delicacy of its outlines, and the sweetness of its fragrance: thus instinctively confessing that her feeling of its beauty results from her perception of those pleasant sensations. Such is not the case in regard to the sensations themselves; none but a philosophic mind ever thinks of accounting for them. We simply say that they pain or they please, they hurt or they gratify. Blue is grateful to the eye; a true fifth is pleasant to the ear; mignonette yields a delicious fragrance; honey is sweet; and the petals of the rose are pleasant to the touch : but why they are so we never add, unless when disposed to philosophise, and then find it no easy matter. We never instinctively give an account of why we have those feelings. But as soon as we maintain that any of these things are beautiful, then we naturally assign as a reason, some of the sensations they produce. The chord of the fifth is beautiful, because it is pleasant to the ear. А soft blue is beautiful, because it is pleasant to the eye.
The sensation is not confounded with the emotion; but the former, or rather a recognition of the former, is assigned as the cause of the latter. It is because I perceive a color to be pleasant, that I feel it to be beautiful. There are several steps in this mental process; the enjoyment of the sensation, the perception of the relation between the object and that enjoyment, a decision of the judgment that the object is calculated to produce such pleasure, and lastly, the emotion of beauty. So far then, I think we may conclude that the immediate antecedent of beauty is an intellectual state of mind; namely, a perception of the relation between primary pleasure and certain things suited to produce it. Again, there are pleasurable, intellectual, and moral states of mind, as the approbation of conscience, the perception of truth, the recognition of right, and attachments formed by habit, none of which are beauty, though all result in it. We do not say of the pleasure arising from following a clear train of evidence, that it is beauty, although we call its cause beautiful. So we speak of an eminently wise decision, of a pure and noble action, of an ingenious invention, as beautiful, although we do not confound the pleasure of justice, of generosity, or invention, with beauty. But when the mind has experienced these pleasures, and their causes, it immediately enjoys the ultimate emotion. On the other hand, if, in the contemplation of any of these things, there occurs an impediment to the primary pleasure, or any shortcoming of the object that should cause it, the emotion of beauty will not follow, because the mind now perceives a want of capacity to create the necessary antecedent pleasure; and with this may be joined, in the case of known objects, disappointments : while the new may fail of producing the emotion, because their effects are yet unknown.
The elements of sensation and of emotion are few. But we combine the one with the other, associating external things with our feelings, and attributing our feelings to external things, and frequently even decompounding them, until the pleasures and pains of taste become innumerable, and it is difficult to return, for a moment, to the simple elements. Associations accumulate upon our primary feelings, as the sand of the desert upon the temples of Egypt, and when we would throw them off, they continually roll back again, and hardly leave us time to read the old inscription beneath; or, like the harmony of colors, in nature, where every tree, and bough, and leaf, every item of wood and lawn, borrows so much from all the rest, that it is difficult to say what proportion of the general effect is due to each of the primary tints, or to point out a place where a simple color appears. But no matter what tie unites a pleasurable feeling with its antecedent, the experience of the senses, or the accidents of association, to the mind that perceives the relation, it becomes a source of beauty. And consequently, just as truly as men may be mistaken in judging of the relations of things, may they err in matters of taste.
British officer in India, who supposed himself bitten by a cobra capello, was overwhelmed for a time by the dread of sudden death; but finding himself mistaken as to the fact, and that the reptile which had alarmed him was perfectly innocuous, became immediately ashamed of measures which would have been nothing more than proper had his first belief been correct. So one may be delighted with an object which afterward he finds is not at all calculated to give the pleasure he had imputed to it. He of course changes his mind. This last opinion is correct, his former was not. The emotion will always come in the right place, but the preceding judgment may be wrong, and the emotion brought up in view of a false object; consequently, the capacities of men for enjoying and correctly judging of the beautiful must be exceedingly various, although one end is contemplated by all. The finer a person's senses are, the larger his grasp of mind, the more sensitive his feelings, the sounder his judgment, and the more extensive his knowledge, the greater and truer will be his stores of Æsthetic delight; while, on the other hand, those of duller senses, of narrow intellect, obtuse feelings, wavering judgment, and little imagination and knowledge, may seem to be utterly devoid of it. Still, even in the humblest intellect, whenever the emotion appears, it will be found in the same place, the subsequent of a judgment upon the fitness of something to give primary pleasure.
ONE EFFECT FROM APPARENTLY MANY CAUSES.
If the preceding remarks are just, the difficulty which many have experienced in dealing with the vast diversity in the objects of beauty, must be entirely obviated. Viewed through this lens, what was formerly nebulous is resolved into a number of bright points, all directing their rays to one common center. For many objects by different means are found to be productive of pleasurable feelings, feelings which are of different orders, and agree only in being pleasurable. And beauty, contemplating only the relation between the mental state and the object which causes it, may succeed the observation of a great diversity of things. Pleasant is the gratification of the love of order; and contemplation of things adapted to that end, if unimpeded by other considerations, is invariably followed by the emotion of beauty. A perception of eminent utility has the same subsequent, because there is a pleasure in seeing a thing answer the end for which it was made ; and objects of instinctive love, because of their association with an agreeable feeling. And if