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and essential characters from the soul; and almost any person may, in some degree, acquire it, who is at pains to improve his understanding, to repress criminal thoughts, and to cherish good affections; as every one must lose it, whatever features or complexion there may be to boast of who leaves the mind uncultivated, or a prey to evil passions, or a slave to trifling pursuits.”— Beattie.

Cole, the distinguished American painter, speaks thus of beauty:

“ Irving was rather disappointed in the scenes in which Scott so much delighted. After all, beauty is in the mind. A scene is rather an index to feelings and associations. 'History and poetry made the barren hills of Scotland glorious to Scott: Irving remembered the majestic forests and the rich luxuriance of his own country. What a beautiful exemplification of the power of poetry was that remark of the old carpenter who had been a companion of Burns: 'and it seemed to him that the country had grown more beautiful since Burns had written his bonnie little sangs

about it.'” To the remarks made by our author on the subject of beauty, the following from Cousin make a valuable addition:

“ Above real beauty, is a beauty of another orderideal beauty. The ideal resides neither in an individual, nor in a collection of individuals. Nature or experience furnishes us the occasion of conceiving it, but it is essentially distinct. Let it once be conceived, and all natural figures, though never so beautiful, are only images of a superior beauty which they do not realize. Give me a beautiful action, and I will imagine one still more beautiful. The Apollo itself is open to criticism in more than one respect. The ideal continually recedes as we approach it. Its last termination is in the infinite, that is to say, in God; or, to speak more correctly, the true and absolute ideal is nothing else than God himself."

“God is, par excellence, the beautiful—for what object satisfies more all our faculties, our reason, our imagination, our heart! He offers to reason the highest idea, beyond which it has nothing more to seek; to imagination the most ravishing contemplation ; to the heart a sovereign object of love. He is, then, perfectly beautiful; but is he not sublime, also, in other ways? If he extends the horizon of thought, it is to confound it in the abyss of his greatness. If the soul blooms at the spectacle of his goodness, has it not also reason to be affrighted at the idea of his justice, which is not less present to it?

At the same time that he is the life, the light, the movement, the ineffable


of visible and finite nature, he is also called the Eternal, the Invisible, the Infinite, the Absolute Unity, and the Being of beings.”—Lect. vii. p. 151, Appleton's Ed.]

190. What lesson, on this subject, our senses teach.—The ends answered by this refer. ence of beauty to the object and not to the percipient.--Connections formed anong indi. viduals in society.-Remarks on the human face.--Cole's remarks on beauty.--Cousin's remarks ou ideal beauty.



(Condensed from LORD JEFFREY'S Review of Alison on Taste, 1841.)

191. THERE are some decisive objections against the notion of beauty being a simple sensation, or the object of a separate and peculiar faculty.

The first, is the want of agreement as to the presence and existence of beauty in particular objects, among men whose organization is perfect, and who are plainly possessed of the faculty, whatever it may be, by which beauty is discerned. Now no such thing happens, or can be conceived to happen, in the case of any other simple sensation, or the exercise of any other distinct faculty. Where one man sees light, all men who have eyes see light also. All men allow grass to be green, and sugar to be sweet. With regard to beauty, however, the case is entirely different. One man sees it perpetually, where to another it is quite invisible, or even where its reverse seems to be conspicuous. But how can we believe that beauty is the object of a peculiar sense or faculty, when

persons undoubtedly possessed of the faculty, and even in an eminent degree, can discover nothing of it in objects where it is distinctly felt and perceived by others with the same use of the faculty ? This consideration seems conclusive against the supposition of beauty being a real property of objects, addressing itself to the power of Taste, as a separate sense or faculty; and it suggests that our sense of it is the result of other more elementary feelings into which it may be resolved.

192. A second objection arises from the almost infinite variety of things to which the property of beauty is ascribed, and the impossibility of imagining any one inherent quality, which can belong to them all, and yet at the same time possess so much unity as to pass universally by the same name, and be recognized as the peculiar object of a separate sense or faculty. The form of a fine tree is beautiful, and the form of a fine woman, and the form of a column, and a vase, and a chandelier; yet how can it be said that the form of a woman has any thing in common with that of a tree or a temple? or to which of the senses, by which forms are distinguished, appear that they have


resemblance or affinity ? The matter, however, becomes still more inextricable when we

can it

191. The Arst objection urged ayalust the notiou of beauty being a simple sensation

recollect that beauty does not belong merely to forms or colors, but to sounds, and perhaps to the objects of other senses; nay, that in all languages and in all nations it is not supposed to reside exclusively in material objects, but to belong also to sentiments and ideas, and intellectual and moral existences. But if things intellectual and totally segregated from matter may thus possess beauty, how can it possibly be a quality of material objects or what sense or faculty can that be whose proper office it is to intimate to us the existence of some property which is common to a flower and a demonstration, a valley and an eloquent discourse ?

193. If, in reply, it he said that all these objects, however various and dissimilar

, agree at least in being agreeable, and that this agreeableness, which is the only quality they possess in common, may probably be the beauty which is ascribed to them all, we answer :that though the agreeableness of such objects depends plainly enough upon their beauty, it by no means follows, but quite the contrary, that their beauty depends upon their agreeableness, the latter being the more comprehensive, or generic term, under which beauty must rapk as one of the species.

(1) Agreeableness, in general, cannot be the same with beauty, because there are very many things in the highest degree agreeable that can in no sense be called beautiful. We learn nothing of the nature of beauty, therefore, by merely classing it among our pleasurable emotions.

(2) Among all the objects that are agreeable, whether they are also beautiful or not, scarcely any two are agreeable on account of the same qualities, or even suggest their agreeableness to the same faculty or organ. The truth is, that agreeableness is not properly a quality of any object whatsoever, but the effect or result of certain qualities, the nature of which, in any particular instance, we can generally define pretty exactly, or of which we know at least with certainly that they manifest themselves respectively to some one particular sense or faculty, and to no other; and consequently, it would be just as obviously ridiculous to suppose a faculty or organ, whose office it was to perceive agreeableness in general, as to suppuse that agreeableness was a distinct quality that could thus be perceived. The words beauty and beautiful are universally felt to mean something much more definite than agreeableness or gratification in general; and the force and clearness of our perception of that something is demonstrated by the readiness with which we determine, in any particular instance, whether the object of a given pleasurable emotion is or is not properly described as beauty.

194. In our opinion, our sense of beauty depends entirely on our

192. The second objection.--Whether beauty belong to forms or colors alone.

198. It is replied that various objects of beauty are alike in one respect, that of agroea bleness, and that this may be the beauty which is ascribed to them all. Two answers to this statement

previous experience of simpler pleasures or emotions, and consists in the suggestion of agreeable or interesting sensations with which we had forinerly been made familiar by the direct and intelligible agency of our common sensibilities; and that vast variety of objects to which we give the common name of beautiful, becoine entitled to that appellation merely because they all possess the power of recalling or reflecting those sensations of which they have been the accompaniments, or with which they have been associated in our imagination by any other more casual bond of connection.

According to this view of the matter, therefore, beauty is not an inherent property or quality of objects at all, but the result of the accidental relations in which they may stand to our experience of pleasures or emotions, and does not depend on any particular configuration of parts, proportions, or colors in external things, nor upon the unity, coherence, or simplicity of intellectual creations, but merely upon the associations which, in the case of every individual, may enable these inherent, and otherwise indifferent qualities, to suggest or recall to the mind emotions of a pleasurable or interesting description. It follows, therefore, that no object is beautiful in itself, or could appear so, antecedent to our experience of direct pleasures or emotions; and that, as an infinite variety of objects may thus reflect interesting ideas, so all of them may acquire the title of beautiful, although utterly diverse in their nature, and possessing nothing in common but this accidental power of reminding us of other emotions.

195. This theory serves to explain how objects which have no inherent resemblance, nor indeed any one quality in common, should yet be united in one common relation, and consequently acquire one common name; just as all the things that belonged to a beloved individual may serve to remind us of him, and thus to awake a kindred class of emotions, though just as unlike each other as any of the objects that are classed under the general name of beautiful.

We thus get rid of all the mystery of a peculiar sense or faculty imagined for the express purpose of perceiving beauty, and discover that the power of taste is nothing more than the habit of tracing those associations by which almost all objects may be connected with interesting emotions.

196. The busis of our theory is, that the beauty which we impute to outward objects, is nothing more than the reflection of our own inward emotions, and is made up entirely of certain little portions of love, pity, or other affections which have been connected with these objects, and still adhere, as it were, to them, and move us anew whenever they are presented to our observation. Two things here

194. (In what onr sense of beauty depends.-Beauty not an inherent property of objects, but the result of accidental relations.

395. What does this theory explain concerning objects that have no inherent resem. blance? What mystery do we thus get rid off-What thus appears to be the power of tasto 1

require explanation. First, what are the primary affections, by the suggestion of which we think the sense of beauty is produced ? and, secondly, what is the nature of the connection by which we suppose that the objects we call beautiful are enabled to suggest these affections ?

With regard to the first of these points—all sensations that are not absolutely indifferent, and are at the same time either agreeable when experienced by ourselves, or attractive when contemplated in others, may form the foundation of the emotions of sublimity or beauty. The sum of the whole is, that every feeling which it is agreeable to experience, to recall, or to witness, may become the source of beauty in external objects, when it is so connected with them as that their appearance reminds us of that feeling. Our proposition is, that the emotions of sublimity or beauty are not original emotions, nor produced directly by any material qualities in the objects that excite them, but are reflections, or images, of the more radical and familiar emotions to which we have alluded; and are occasioned, not by any inherent virtue in the objects before us, but by the accidents, if we may so express ourselves, by which these may have been enabled to suggest or recall to us our own past sensations or sympathies. It might almost be laid down as an axiom, that, except in the plain and palpable case of bodily pain or pleasure, we can never be interested in any thing but the fortunes of sentient beings, and that every thing partaking

of the nature of mental emotion, must have for its object the feelings, past, present, or possible, of something capable of sensation. Independent, therefore, of all evidence, we should have been apt to conclude, that the emotions of beauty and sublimity must have for their objects the sufferings or enjoyments of sentient beings.

197. Secondly, as to the connection of our feelings with external objects by which they become beautiful-objects are sublime or beautiful, (1) when they are the natural signs and perpetual concomitants of pleasurable sensations; or, at any rate, of some lively feeling or emotion in ourselves or in some other sentient beings; or, (2) when they are the arbitrary or accidental concomitants of such feelings; or, (3) when they bear some analogy or fanciful resemblance to things with which these emotions are naturally connected.

198. The most obvious and the strongest association between in. ward feelings and external objects is, where the object is necessarily and universally connected with the feeling by the law of nature, so that it is always presented to the senses when the feeling is impressed upon the mind—as the sight or sound of laughter, with the feeling of gayety-of weeping with distress of the sound of thunder with

196. The basis of our theory-Two things requiring explanation.- What sensations may form the foundation of enotions of sublimity and beauty? Those emotions more particularly defined. How occasioned. - The axiom referred to. 197. When objects are sublime; wben boautiful.

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