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How was he honoured in the midst of the peas ple, in his coming out of the sanctuary! He was as the morning star in the midst of a clouch
and as the moon at the full; as the sun shining MAGNIFICENCE is likewise a source of the upon the temple of the Most High, and as the sublime. A great profusion of things, which rainbow giving light in the bright clouds : and are splendid or valuable in themselves, is mag- as the flower of roses in the spring of the year, nificent. The starry heaven, though it occurs lilies by the rivers of waters, and as the frankin50 very frequently to our view, never fails to cense tree in summer ; as fire and incense in the excite an idea of grandeur. This cannot be censer, and as a vessel of gold set with precious owing to the stars themselves, separately cone slones ; as a fair olive tree budding forth fruit, sidered. The number is certainly the cause. and as a cypress which groweth up to the clouds. The apparent disorder augments the grandeur, When he put on the robe of honour, and was for the appearance of care is highly contrary to clothed with the perfection of glory, when he wentour ideas of magnificence. Besides, the stars up to the holy altar, he made the garment of how lie in such apparent confusion, as makes it im- liness honourable. He himself slood by the possible on ordinary occasions to reckon them. hearth of the altar, compassed with his brethren This gives them the advantage of a sort of in- round about; us a young cedar in Libanus, and linity. In works of art, this kind of grandeur, as palm trees compassed they him about. So which consists in multitude, is to be very cau- were all the sons of Aaron in their glory, and the tiously admitted; because a profusion of ex- oblations of the Lord in their hands, fc. cellent things is not to be attained, or with too much difficulty; and because in many cases this splendid confusion would destroy all use, which should be attended to in most of the
SECTION XIV. works of art with the greatest care ; besides it is to be considered, that unless you can produce an appearance of infinity by your disorder, you will have disorder only without magnificence. HAVING considered extension, so far as it is There are, however, a sort of fire-works, and capable of raising ideas of greatness ; colour some other things, that in this way succeed comes next under consideration. All colours well, and are truly grand. There are also depend on light. Light therefore ought previmany descriptions in the poets and orators, ously to be examined, and with it its opposite, which owe their sublimity to a richness and darkness. With regard to light, to make it a profusion of images, in which the mind is so cause capable of producing the sublime, it dazzled as to make it impossible to attend to must be attended with some circumstances, that exact coherence and agreement of the al- besides its bare faculty of shewing other oblusions, which we should require on every other jects. Mere light is too common a thing to occasion. I do not now remember a more stri's- make a strong impression on the mind, and ing example of this, than the description which without a strong impression nothing can be is given of the king's army in the play of Henry sublime. But such a light as that of the sun, the Fourth.
immediately exerted on the eye, as it overpow. -All furnish'd, all in arms, ers the sense, is a very great idea. Light of All plum'd like ostriches that with the wind
an inferiour strength to this, if it moves with Bajtod like eagles having lately bathed; As full of spirit as the month of May,
great celerity, has the same power; for lightAnd gorgeous as the sun in midsummer,
ning is certainly productive of grandeur, which Wanton
as youthful goats, wild as young bulls it owes chiefly to the extreme velocity of its I saw young Harry with his beaver on
motion. A quick transition from light to darkRise from the ground like featherd Mercury ; And vaulted with such ease into his seal,
ness, or from darkness to light, has yet a greater As if an angel dropped from the clouds
effect. But darkness is more productive of To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus.
sublime ideas than light. Our great poet was In that excellent book, so remarkable for the convinced of this ; and indeed so full was he vivacity of its descriptions, as well as the soli- of this idea, so entirely possessed with the dity and penetration of its sentences, the Wise power of a well managed darkness, that in dom of the son of Sirach, there is a noble pane describing the appearance of the Deity, amidst gyric on the high priest Simon the son of Onias; that profusion of magnificent images, which and it is a very fine example of the point be- the grandeur of his subject provokes him to fore us :
pour out upon every side, he is far from forget.
COLOUR CONSIDERED AS PRODUCTIVE
ting the obscurity which surrounds the most
SECTION XVI. incomprehensible of all beings, but
With the majesty of darkness round Circles his throne.And what is no less remarkable, our author had the secret of preserving this idea, even when AMONG colours, such as are soft or cheerful he seemed to depart the farthest from it, when (except perhaps a strong red which is cheer he describes the light and glory which flows ful) are unfit to produce grand images. An from the divine presence; a light which by its immense mountain covered with a shining very excess is converted into a species of dark green turf, is nothing, in this respect, to one
dark and gloomy; the cloudy sky is more grand
than the blue; and night more sublime and Dark with excessive light thy skirts appear.
solemn than day. Therefore in historical Here is an idea not only poetical in an high painting, a gay or gaudy drapery can never degree, but strictly and philosophically just. have a happy effect: and in buildings, when Extreme light, by overcoming the organs of the highest degree of the sublime is intended, sight, obliterates all objects, so as in its effect the materials and ornaments ought neither to exactly to resemble darkness. After looking be white, nor green, nor yellow, nor blue, nor for some time at the sun, two black spots, tho of a pale red, nor violet, nor spotted, but of sad impression which it leaves, seem to dance be- and fuscous colours, as black, or brown, or deep fore our eyes. Thus are two ideas as opposite purple, and the like. Much of gilding, mosaas can be imagined reconciled in the extremes
ics, painting, or statues, contribute but little to of both; and both in spite of their opposite the sublime. This rule need not be put in nature, brought to concur in producing the practice, except where an uniform degree of sublime. And this is not the only instance the most striking sublimity is to be produced, wherein the opposite extremes operate equally and that in every particular; for it ought to be in favour of the sublime, which in all things observed, that this melancholy kind of greatabhors mediocrity.
ness, though it be certainly the highest, ought not to be studied in all sorts of edifices, where yet grandeur must be studied: in such cases
the sublimity must be drawn from the other SECTION XV.
sources; with a strict caution however against any thing light and riant; as nothing so effect ually deadens the whole taste of the sublime.
LIGHT IN BUILDING.
As the management of light is a matter of importance in architecture, it is worth inquiring, how far this remark is applicable to build
SECTION XVII. ing. I think then, that all edifices calculated to produce an idea of the sublime, ought rather
SOUND AND LOUDNESS. to be dark and gloomy, and this for two reasons; the first is, that darkness itself on other THE eye is not the only organ of sensation, occasions is known by experience to have a by which a sublime passion may be produced. greater effect on the passions than light. The Sounds have a great power in these as in most second is, that to make an object very striking, 'other passions. I do not mean words, because we should make it as different as possible from words do not affect simply by their sounds, but the objects with which we have been immedi- by means altogether different. Excessive loudately conversant; when therefore you enter a ness alone is sufficient to overpower the soul, building, you cannot pass into a greater light to suspend its action, and to fill it with terthan you had in the open air; to go into some rour. The noise of vast cataracts, raging few degrees less luminous, can make only a storms, thunder, or artillery, awakes a great trifling change; but to make the transition and awful sensation in the mind, though we thoroughly striking, you ought to pass from the can observe no nicety or artifice in those sorts greatest light, to as much darkr,ess as is con- of music. The shouting of multitudes has a sistent with the uses of architecture. At night similar effect; and, by the sole strength of the the contrary rule will hold, but for the very same sound, so amazes and confounds the imagireason; and the more highly a room is then nation, that, in this staggering and hurry of illuminated, the grander will the passion be. the mind, the best established tempers can
THE CRIES OF ANIMALS.
acarcely forbear being borne down, and joining Quale per incertam lunam sub luce maligna in the common cry, and common resolution of
Est iter in sylvis. the crowd.
A faint shadow of uncertain light,
But light now appearing, and now leaving us, and so off and on, is even more terrible than
total darkness : and a sort of uncertain sounds A SUDDEN beginning, or sudden cessation are, when the necessary dispositions concur, of sound of any considerable force, has the
more alarming than a total silence. same power. The attention is roused by this; and the faculties driven forward, as it were, on their guard. Whatever either in sights or
SECTION XX. sounds makes the transition from one extreme to the other easy, causes no terrour, and consequently can be no cause of greatness. In every thing sudden and unexpected, we are apt
Such sounds as imitate the natural inarticuto start; that is, we have a perception of danger, and our nature rouses us to guard against late voices of men, or any animals in pain or it. It may be observed that a single sound of danger, are capable of conveying great ideas; some strength, though but of short duration, if unless it be the well-known voice of some crearepeated after intervals, has a grand effect. ture, on which we are used to look with conFew things are more awful than the striking tempt. The angry tones of wild beasts are of a great clock, when the silence of the night equally capable of causing a great and awful
sensation. prevents the attention from being too much dissipated. The same may be said of a single Hinc exaudiri gemitus, iræque leonum stroke on a drum, repeated with pauses; and
Vincla recusantum, et sera sub nocte ruden of the successive firing of cannon at a distance. Setigerique sues, atque in præsepibus ursi All the effects mentioned in this section have Sævire ; et formæ magnorum ululare luporum. causes very nearly alike.
It might seem that these modulations of sound carry some connection with the nature of the things they represent, and are not merely arbi
trary ; because the natural cries of all animals, SECTION XIX.
even of those animals with whom we have not been acquainted, never fail to make themselves sufficiently understood ; this cannot be said of
language. The modifications of sound, which A Low, tremulous, intermitting sound, may be productive of the sublime, are almost though it seems in some respects opposite to
infinite. Those I have mentioned, are only a that just mentioned, is productive of the sub
few instances to shew, on what principles thev ime. It is worth while to examine this a little. are all built. The fact itself must be determined by every man's own experience and reflection. I have already observed,* that night increases our
SECTION XXI. terrour, more perhaps than any thing else; it is our nature, when we do not know what
SMELL AND TASTE. happen to us, to fear the worst that can happen; and hence it is, that uncertainty is so terrible, that we often seek to be rid of it, at Smells and tastes, have some share too in the hazard of a certain mischief. Now, some
ideas of greatness; but it is a small one, weak low, confused, uncertain sounds, leave us in in its nature, and confined in its operations. I the same fearful anxiety concerning their shall only observe, that no smells or tastes can causes, that no light, or an uncertain light, does produce a grand sensation, except excessivo concerning the objects that surround us. bitters, and intolerable stenches. It is true
these affections of the smell and taste, 4 Section 3.
when they are in their full force, and lean di
BITTERS AND STENCHES.
THE END OF THE SECOND PART.
rectly upon the sensory, are simply painful, and degrees of labour, pain, anguish, torment, is accompanied with no sort of delight; but when productive of the sublime; and nothing else in chey are moderated, as in a description or this sense can produce it. I need not give narrative, they become sources of the sublime, here any fresh instances, as those given in the as genuine as any other, and upon the very former sections abundantly illustrate a remark, same principle of a moderated pain. “A cup that in reality wants only an attention to nature, of bitterness ;" “ to drain the bitter cup of to be made by every body. fortune;" “the bitter apples of Sodom;" these Having thus run through the causes of the are all ideas suitable to a sublime description. sublime with reference to all the senses, my Nor is this passage of Virgil without sublimi- first observation (sect. 7.) will be found very ty, where the stench of the vapour in Albuena nearly true; that the sublime is an idea beconspires so happily with the sacred horrour longing to self-preservation; that it is therefore and gloominess of that prophetic forest: one of the most affecting we have; that its At rex solicitus monstris oracula Fauni
strongest emotion is an emotion of distress; Fatidici genitoris adit, lucosque sub alla and that no pleasure* from a positive cause Consulit Albunea, nemorum quæ maxima sacro belongs to it. Numberless examples, besides Fonte sonat; særamque exhalat opaca Mephi. those mentioned, might be brought in support
of these truths, and many perhaps useful conIn the sixth book, and in a very sublime de- sequences drawn from themscription, the poisonous exhalation of Acheron
Sed fugit interea, fugit irrevocabile tempus, is not forgot, nor does it at all disagree with
Singula dum capti circumvectamur amore. the other images among which it is introduced : Spelunca alta fuit, vastoque immanis hiatu Scrupea, tuta lacu nigro, nemorumque tene.
bris, Quam super haud ullæ poterant impune vo
lantes Tendere iter pennis, talis sese halitus atris
PART III -SECTION I. Faucibus effundens supera ad convera fere.
bat. I have added these examples, because some friends, for whose judgment I have great defer- It is my design to consider beauty as distinence, were of opinion, that if the sentiment guished from the sublime ; and, in the course stood nakedly by itself, it would be subject, at of the inquiry, to examine how far it is consisfirst view, to burlesque and ridicule ; but this tent with it. But previous to this, we must I imagine would principally arise from con- take a short review of the opinions already ensidering the bitterness and stench in company tertained of this quality; which I think are with mean and contemptible ideas, with which hardly to be reduced to any fixed principles it must be owned they are often united; such because men are used to talk of beauty in a an union degrades the sublime in all other in- figurative manner, that is to say, in a manner stances as well as in those. But it is one of extremely uncertain, and indeterminate. By the tests by which the sublimity of an image beauty I mean that quality, or those qualities is to be tried, not whether it becomes mean in bodies, by which they cause love, or some when associated with mean ideas: but whether, passion similar to it. I confine this definition when united with images of an allowed gran- to the merely sensible qualities of things, for deur, the whole composition is supported with the sake of preserving the utmost simplicity in dignity. Things which are terrible are always a subject which must always distract us, whengreat; but when things possess disagreeable ever we take in those various causes of symqualities, or such as have indeed some degree pathy which attach us to any persons or things of danger, but of a danger easily overcome, from secondary considerations, and not from they are merely odious, as toads and spiders. the direct force which they have merely on
being viewed. I likewise distinguish love, by which I mean that satisfaction which arises to
the mind upon contemplating any thing beauSECTION XXII.
tiful, of whatsoever nature it may be, from de
sire or lust; which is an energy of the mind, FEELING.
that hurries us on to the possession of certain Or feeling, little more can be said than that objects, that do not affect us as they are beauthe idea of bodily pain, in all the modes and
* Vide Part I. sect. 6
tiful, but by means altogether different. We is from this absolute indifference and tranquilshall have a strong desire for a woman of no lity of the mind, that mathematical specularemarkable beauty; whilst the greatest beauty tions derive some of their most considerable in men, or in other animals, though it causes advantages; because there is nothing to inte love, yet it excites nothing at all of desire. rest the imagination ; because the judgment Which shews that beauty, and the passion sits free and unbiassed to examine the point. caused by beauty, which I call love, is differ- All proportions, every arrangement of quantity ent from desire, though desire may sometimes is alike to the understanding, because the same operate along with it; but it is to this latter truths result to it from all ; from greater, from that we must attribute those violent aud teni- lesser, from equality and inequality. But pestuous passions, and the consequent emo- surely beauty is no idea belonging to mensutions of the body which attend what is called ration; nor has it any thing to do with calculove in some of its ordinary acceptations, and lation and geometry. If it had, we might then not to the effects of beauty merely as it is such. point out some certain measures which we
could demonstrate to be beautiful, either as simply considered, or as related to others; and
we could call in those natural objects, for whose SECTION II.
beauty we have no voucher but the sense, to
this happy standard, and confirm the voice of PROPORTION NOT THE CAUSE OF BEAUTY our passions by the determination of our rea
son. But since we have not this help, let us
see whether proportion can in any sense be Beauty hath usually been said to consist in considered as the cause of beauty, as hath been certain proportions of parts. On considering the so generally, and by some so confidently affirmmatter, I have great reason to doubt, whether ed. If proportion be one of the constituents beauty be at all an idea belonging to propor- of beauty, it must derive that power either tion. Proportion relates almost wholly to con- from some natural properties inherent in cer. venience, as every idea of order seems to do; tain measures, which operate mechanically ; and it must therefore be considered as a crea from the operation of custom; or from the fitture of the understanding, rather than a primaryness which some measures have to answer cause acting on the senses and imagination. some particular ends of conveniency. Our It is not by the force of long attention and in- business therefore is to enquire, whether the quiry that we find any object to be beautiful ; parts of those objects, which are found beautibeauty demands no assistance from our reason- ful in the vegetable or animal kingdoms, are ing; even the will is unconcerned; the ap- constantly so formed according to such certain pearance of beauty as effectually causes some
measures, as may serve to satisfy us that their degree of love in us, as the application of ice beauty results from those measures on the prin or fire produces the ideas of heat or cold. To ciple of a natural mechanical cause ; or from gain something like a satisfactory conclusion custom; or, in fine, from their fitness for any in this point, it were well to examine, what determinaté purposes. I intend to examine proportion is; since several who make use of this point under each of these heads in their that word, do not always seem to understand order. But before I proceed further, I hope it very clearly the force of the term, nor to have will not be thought amiss, if I lay down the very distinct ideas concerning the thing itself. rules which governed me in this inquiry, and Proportion is the measure of relative quantity. which have misled me in it, if I have gone Since all quantity is divisible, it is evident astray. 1. If two bodies produce the same or that every distinct part into which any quan- a similar effect on the mind, and on examinatity is divided, musi bear some relation to the tion they are found to agree in some of their other parts, or to the whole. These relations properties, and to differ in others the common give an origin to the idea of proportion. They effect is to be attributed to the roperties in are discovered by mensuration, and they are which they agree, and not to those in which the objects of mathematical inquiry. But they differ. 2. Not to account for the effect of whether any part of any determinate quantity a natural object from the effect of an artificial be a fourth, or a fifth, or a sixth, or a moiety of object. 3. Not to account for the effect of any the whole; or whether it be of equal length natural object from a conclusion of our reason with any other part, or double its length, or but concerning its uses, if a natural cause may be one half, is a matter merely indifferent to the assi 4. Not to admit any determinate mind; it stands neuter in the question: and it quantity, or any relation of quantity, as the