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their causes may be, are similar; and so are those which are melancholy. Dissimilar emotions are easily explained by their opposition to what are similar: pride and humility, gayety and gloominess, are
Emotions perfectly similar, readily combine and unite,* so as in a manner to become one complex emotion: witness the emotions produced by a number of flowers in a parterre, or of trees in a wood. Emotions that are opposite or extremely dissimilar, never combine or unite the mind cannot simultaneously take on opposite tones; it cannot at the same instant be both joyful and sad, angry and satisfied, proud and humble: dissimilar emotions may succeed each other with rapidity, but they cannot exist simultaneously.
Between these two extremes, emotions unite more or less in pro portion to the degree of their resemblance, and the degree in which their causes are connected. Thus the emotions produced by a fine landscape and the singing of birds, being similar in a considerable degree, readily unite, though their causes are little connected. And the same happens where the causes are intimately connected, though the emotions themselves have little resemblance to each other; an example of which is a loved one in distress, whose beauty gives pleasure, and her distress pain: these two emotions, proceeding from different views of the object, have very little resemblance to each other; and yet so intimately connected are their causes, as to force them into a sort of complex emotion, partly pleasant, partly painful. This clearly explains some expressions common in poetry, a sweet distress, a pleasant pain.
138. It was necessary to describe with some accuracy in what manner similar and dissimilar emotions coexist in the mind, in order to explain their different effects, both internal and external. This subject, though obscure, is capable to be set in a clear light; and it merits attention, not only for its extensive use in criticism, but for the nobler purpose of deciphering many intricacies in the actions of men. Beginning with internal effects, I discover two, clearly dis- ' tinguishable from each other, both of them produced by pleasant emotions that are similar; of which, the one may be represented by addition in numbers, the other by harmony in sounds. Two pleasant emotions that are similar, readily unite when they are coexistent; and the pleasure felt in the union is the sum of the two pleasures: the same emotions in succession, are far from making the same figure; because the mind, at no instant of the succession, is conscious
It is easier to conceive the manner of coexistence of similar emotions than to describe it. They cannot be said to mix or incorporate, like concordant sounds: their union is rather of agreement or concord; and therefore I have chosen the words in the text, not as sufficient to express clearly the manner of their coexistence, but only as less liable to exception than any other I can find.
137. Similar emotions to be distinguished from dissimilar. Their respective ten lencies. In what proportion emotions unité, more or less.
of more than a single emotion. This doctrine may aptly be illus trated by a landscape comprehending hills, valleys, plains, rivers, trees, &c. the emotions produced by these several objects, being similar in a high degree, as falling in easily and sweetly with the same tone of mind, are in conjunction extremely pleasant. This multiplied effect is felt from objects even of different senses, as where a landscape is conjoined with the music of birds and odor of flowers; and results partly from the resemblance of the emotions and partly from the connection of their causes: whence it follows, that the effect must be the greatest where the causes are intimately connected and the emotions perfectly similar. The same rule is obviously applicable to painful emotions that are similar and coexistent.
139. The other pleasure arising from pleasant emotions similar and coexistent, cannot be better explained than by the foregoing example of a landscape, where the sight, hearing, and smelling are employed: besides the accumulated pleasure above mentioned, of so many different similar emotions, a pleasure of a different kind is felt from the concord of these emotions. As that pleasure resembles greatly the pleasure of concordant sounds, it may be termed the Harmony of Emotions. This harmony is felt in the different emotions occasioned by the visible objects; but it is felt still more sensibly in the emotions occasioned by the objects of different senses, as where the emotions of the eye are combined with those of the ear. The former pleasure comes under the rule of addition this comes under a different rule. It is directly in proportion to the degree of resemblance between the emotions, and inversely in proportion to the degree of connection between the causes: to feel this pleasure in perfection, the resemblance between the emotions cannot be too strong, nor the connection between their causes too slight. The former condition is self-evident; and the reason of the latter is, that the pleasure of harmony is felt from various similar emotions, distinct from each other, and yet sweetly combining in the mind; which excludes causes intimately connected, for the emotions produced by them are forced into one complex emotion. This pleasure of concord or harmony, which is the result of pleasing emotions, and cannot have place with respect to those that are painful, will be further illustrated, when the emotions produced by the sound of words and their meaning are taken under consideration. (Chap. xviii. sect. 3.)
The pleasure of concord from conjoined emotions, is felt even where the emotions are not perfectly similar. Though love be a
188. The effects of similar and dissimilar emotions.--Two internal effects produced by pleasant emotions that are similar. Illustrations.
139. Concord of similar emotions produced by objects in a landscape, especially by ob Jects of the different senses. The pleasure of this harmony, proportional to what?-Why a slight cornection between the causes of the emotions increases the pleasure felt.-The pleasure of concord from conjoined emotions, even when the emotions are not perfectly similar.
pleasant passion, yet by its softness and tenderness it resembles in a considerable degree the painful passion of pity or of grief; and for that reason, love accords better with these passions than with what are gay and sprightly.
140. Next as to the effects of dissimilar emotions, which we may guess will be opposite to what are above described. Dissimilar coexistent emotions, as said above, never fail to distress the mind by the difference of their tones; from which situation a feeling of harmony never can proceed; and this holds whether the causes be connected or not. But it holds more remarkably where the causes are connected; for in that case the dissimilar emotions being forced into an unnatural union, produce an actual feeling of discord. In the next place, if we would estimate the force of dissimilar emotions coexistent, we must distinguish between their causes as connected or unconnected and in order to compute their force in the former case, subtraction must be used instead of addition; which will be evident from what follows. Dissimilar emotions forced into union by the connection of their causes, are felt obscurely and imperfectly; for each tends to vary the tone of mind that is suited to the other; and the mind thus distracted between two objects, is at no instant in a condition to receive a deep impression from either. Dissimilar emotions proceeding from unconnected causes, are in a very different condition; for as there is nothing to force them into union, they are never felt but in succession; by which means, each hath an opportunity to make a complete impression.
This curious theory requires to be illustrated by examples. In reading the description of the dismal waste, Book I. of Paradise Lost, we are sensible of a confused feeling, arising from dissimilar emotions forced into union, to wit, the beauty of the description, and the horror of the object described:
Seest thou yon dreary plain, forlorn and wild,
Save what the glimmering of these livid flames
And with respect to this and many similar passages in Paradise Lost, we are sensible that the emotions, being obscured by each other, make neither of them that figure they would make separately. For the same reason, ascending smoke in a calm morning, which inspires stillness and tranquillity, is improper in a picture full of violent action. A parterre, partly ornamented, partly in disorder produces a mixed feeling of the same sort. Two great armies in act to engage, mix the dissimilar emotions of grandeur and of terrcr.
Suppose a virtuous man has drawn on himself a great misfortune by a fault incident to human nature, and somewhat venial: the remorse he feels aggravates his distress, and consequently raises our pity to a high pitch: we at the same time blame the man; and the indignation raised by the fault he has committed, is dissimilar to
pity. These two passions, however, proceeding from the same object, are forced into a sort of union; but the indiguation is so slight as scarce to be felt in the mixture with pity. Subjects of this kind are of all the fittest for tragedy; but of that afterwards. (Chapter xxii.)
141. Opposite emotions are so dissimilar as not to admit any sort of union, even where they proceed from causes the most intimately connected. A succession [to an estate] opens to me by the death of a worthy man, who was my friend as well as my kinsman: when I think of my friend, I am grieved; but the succession gives me joy. These two causes are intimately connected; for the succession is the direct consequence of my friend's death: the emotions, however, being opposite, do not mix; they prevail alternately, perhaps, for a course of time, till grief for my friend's death be banished by the pleasures of opulence. A virtuous man suffering unjustly, is an example of the same kind: I pity him, and have great indignation at the author of the wrong. These emotions proceed from causes nearly connected; but, being directed to different objects, they are not forced into union; their opposition preserves them distinct, and accordingly they are found to prevail alternately.
142. I proceed to examples of dissimilar emotions arising from unconnected causes. Good and bad news of equal importance arriving at the same instant from different quarters, produce opposite emotions, the discordance of which is not felt, because they are not forced into union: they govern alternately, commonly in a quick succession, till their force be spent:
Shylock. How now, Tubal, what news from Genoa? hast thou found my daughter?
Tubal. I often came where I did hear of her, but cannot find her.
Shy. Why, there, there, there, there! a diamond gone, cost.me two thousand ducats in Frankfort! the curse never fell upon our nation till now; I never felt it till now: two thousand ducats in that, and other precious, precious jewels! I would my daughter were dead at my foot, and the jewels in her ear; 0, would she were hears'd at my foot and the ducats in her coffin. No news of them; why, so! and I know not what's spent in the search; why, thou loss upon loss! the thief gone with so much, and so much to find the thief; and no satisfaction, no revenge, nor no ill luck stirring but what lights o' my shoulders; no sighs but o' my breathing, no tears but o' my shedding. Tub. Yes, other men have ill luck too; Antonio, as I heard in GenoaShy. What, what, what? ill luck, ill luck?
Tub. Hath an Argosie cast away, coming from Tripolis.
Shy. I thank God, I thank God; is it true? is it true?
Tub. I spoke with some of the sailors that escaped the wreck.
Shy. I thank thee, good Tubal; good news, good news, ha, ha: where, in Genoa?
Tub. Your daughter spent in Genoa, as I heard, one night, fourscore ducats. Shy. Thou stick'st a dagger in me; I shall never see my gold again; fourscore ducats at a sitting, fourscore ducats!
140. The effects of dissimilar coexistent emotions, especially when the causes are connected. The comparative force of dissimilar coexistent emotions when proceeding from connected, and when from unconnected causes. Illustrated by the description of a disma. waste, in Paradise Lost, &c.
141. Opposite emotions, though arising from causes closely connected, do not unite Examples.
Tub. There came divers of Antonio's creditors in my company to Venice, that swear he cannot choose but break.
Shy. I am glad of it; I'll plague him, I'll torture him; I am glad of it. Tub. One of them showed me a ring that he had of your daughter for a monkey.
Shy. Out upon her! thou torturest me. Tubal, it was my Turquoiso; I had it of Leah when I was a bachelor; I would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys.
Tub. But Antonio is certainly undone.
Shy. Nay, that's true, that's very true; go, fee me an officer, bespeak him a fortnight before. I will have the heart of him, if he forfeit; for were he out of Venice, I can make what merchandise I will. Go, go, Tubal, and meet me at our synagogue; go, good Tubal; at our synagogue, Tubal.
Merchant of Venice, Act III. Sc. 1.
In the same manner, good news arriving to a man laboring under distress, occasions a vibration in his mind from the one to the other. If the emotions be unequal in force, the stronger after a conflict will extinguish the weaker. Thus the loss of a house by fire, or of a sum of money by bankruptcy, will make no figure in opposition to the birth of a long-expected son, who is to inherit an opulent fortune; after some slight vibrations the mind settles in joy, and the loss is forgot.
143. The foregoing observations will be found of great use in the fine arts. Many practical rules are derived from them, which shall afterwards be mentioned; but for instant gratification in part the reader will accept the following specimen, being an application of these observations to music. It must be premised that no disagreeable combination of sounds is entitled to the name of music; for all music is resolvable into melody and harmony, which imply agreeableness in their very conception. Sounds may be so contrived as to produce horror and several other painful feelings, which, in a tragedy or in an opera, may be introduced with advantage to accompany the representation of a dissocial or disagreeable passion. But such sounds must in themselves be disagreeable, and upon that account cannot be dignified with the name of music. Secondly, the agreeableness of vocal music differs from that of instrumental; the former, being intended to accompany words, ought to be expressive of the sentiment that they convey; but the latter, having no connection with words, may be agreeable without relation to any sentiment harmony, properly so called, though delightful when in perfection, hath no relation to sentiment; and we often find melody without the least tincture of it. It is beyond the power of music to raise a passion or a sentiment; but it is in the power of music to raise emotions similar to what are raised by sentiments expressed in words pronounced with propriety and grace; and such music may justly be termed sentimental. Thirdly, in vocal music, the intimate connection of sense and sound rejects dissimilar emotions, those especially that are opposite. Similar emotions produced by the
142. Examples of dissimilar emotions arising from unconnected causes.-Good and bad news, &c.-Case where the emotions are unequal in force.