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agreement that is fundamental to the inquiry before us. Introduce men of all ages, and of every nation into the same family, and ask them which of the children in that particular family is the most beautiful, and you will find but little diversity in their judgments, and no diversity which is not perfectly consistent with the supposition of a common ideal in their minds, while the striking coincidence in their judgments can be explained on no other supposition. · 5. There are actual forms of beauty, in respect to which all men do agree. The most perfect specimens of ancient sculpture and painting may be adduced as an illustration. Also forms of beauty in the world around us; as the rose and the lily. Such circumstances we should find it difficult to explain on any other supposition than the one before us.
Chronological Antecedent of these Ideas. . The condition of the development of the idea of beauty and of sublimity in the mind, is the perception of the elements of the beautiful and sublime in some external object. In the divine mind, these ideas, among others, existed eternally as the prototypes after which creation was formed and moulded. The human Intelligence is so constituted, that in the presence of objects, in the conformation of which the divine idea is more or less nearly realized, the same idea is awakened in the mind of man. This idea then becomes the standard by which the external object is characterized as beautiful, grand, or sublime.
. Illustration from Cousin. Cousin thus beautifully explains the origin of the idea of beauty in the mind: “The idea of the beautiful is equally inherent in the mind of man, as that of the just and the good. Interrogate yourselves, when a vast and tranquil sea, when mountains of harmonious proportions, when the manly or graceful forms of men or women, are present to your view, or some trait of heroic devotion, to your recollection. Once impressed with the idea of the beautiful, man seizes, disengages, extends, develops and purifies it in his thought, and by the assistance of this idea, which external objects have suggested to him, he re-examines these same objects, and finds them. inferior to the idea which they themselves have sug
Explanatory Remarks. The remarks above made have directly respected the beautiful and sublime, as they are embodied in external form. By this I would not be understood as implying that nothing else is beautiful or sublime, or that this is their chief source. There are beauty and sublimity in thought, and if possible, higher still in action.
IDEA OF HARMONY.
The remarks and illustrations above presented, pertaining to the ideas of the beautiful and sublime, are equally applicable to that of harmony. The ear tryeth sounds, as the eye doth form and color. In harmony words and sounds are arranged according to fundamental ideas, just as other elements are in the beautiful and sublime. That this is the true explication of the subject will appear, I think, from the following considerations :
1. When highly excited by musical performances, those who attentively watch the operations of their own minds, cannot fail to notice, that under such circumstances they uniformly conceive of the same pieces as performed infinitely better; and that it is this conception which constitutes the main source of delight.
2. Persons in whose minds the principle of harmony is most fully developed, enjoy an exquisite piece of music quite as highly, when reading it alone, in the absence of all musical sounds, as when hearing it performed by the best trained choir, clearly showing that the idea in the mind far surpasses realities without.
3. Skilful performers on the organ or piano, who have lost the faculty of hearing, enjoy these instruments no less than · before. I recollect to have read of a celebrated musician in Germany, who in his old age lost his hearing entirely. Yet, as his fingers would run over the keys of his piano, the instrument used being (a fact unknown to him) totally destitute of power to produce any sound whatever, he would rise in his feelings to perfect ecstasy of delight. I his own mind there was harmony deep and profound. It was harmony in idea.
4. The principles of harmony are all found to be reducible to mathematical formulas. These principles are not deduced, in the first instance, from observation, irrespective of fundamental ideas. Such ideas must first be developed, before the principles of harmony can be understood.
Two reflections suggest themselves from the above analysis.
Mind constituted according to fundamental Ideas. The first is, that a profound knowledge of mind clearly shows that our nature is constituted according to absolute principles of pure science, or of fundamental ideas of Reason. Nothing, at first thought, would appear to be at a further remove from the principles of pure science, especially of the pure mathematics, than the laws of harmony. Yet, when we have developed the laws of proportion in the pure mathematics, we find that we have developed those principles without the knowledge of which the laws of harmony could not be understood. The same results are equally applicable to external existences. In the study of pure science we have not departed from nature. We are only in the depths of our own Reason, developing the forms and laws to which nature, material and mental, is conformed. We are only developing those forms and principles which enable us to understand the universe as it is. The more deep and profound our descent into the depths of pure science, the more . profound and perfect is our knowledge of nature. What do such facts indicate in respect to the character of the Author of our being? He must be a pure Intelligence, in whose mind absolute science pre-existed as the forms and laws after which all things, visible and invisible, are constituted. Hence, when the principles of the same science are developed in our own minds, we are then able to comprehend our own nature, and the constitution of things around us. Because we are from our nature scientific beings, for this reason alone it is that we can understand the works of God. Thus it is that
“ Trailing clouds of glory do we come
How little is the student accustomed to reflect that in the study of the laws and principles of the triangle, the square, the circle, the ellipse, the parabola, and hyperbola, together with the science of number and proportion, he is developing
in his own mind, those forms and principles by which alone the wonders of astronomy, and the laws of attraction which bind the universe of matter in harmony together, &c., can be understood and explained by him. In our descent into the deep profound of the pure and abstract sciences, we find ourselves, whenever we come to recognize our position in the deep profound of nature, and of the infinite Intelligence of Nature's God.
Poetry defined. We are now prepared for a definition of poetry, properly so called. A mere rythmical jingle of words at the end of lines of a given length, does not constitute poetry, according to the true signification of the term. Nor have I been satisfied with the popular definitions of the subject which I have met with. I will present, as an example, that given by Coleridge: “A poem is that species of composition which is opposed to works of science, by proposing for its immediate object pleasure, not truth; and from all other species (having this object in common with it) it is discriminated by proposing to itself such delight from the whole as is compatible with a distinct gratification from each component part.”
The great objection to this definition is, that many prose, as well as poetical compositions, would fall under it. I will now propose another and a different definition. Poetry, or more properly, perhaps, a poem, is the creations of the Imagination embodied in language arranged in conformity to the idea of harmony. I leave the definition to speak for itself.
IDEA OF TRUTH.
Idea defined. Another fundamental idea of Reason-an idea which controls the Intelligence in all its movements—is the idea of truth. The term Truth may be contemplated objectively and subjectively. Objectively, it comprehends and expresses all realities, whatever they may be. Subjectively, it designates an intellectual conception in harmony with the object of the conception.
Chronological Antecedent of this Idea. The chronological antecedent of this idea, or the condition of its development by the Reason, is the perception of phenomena, and the consequent development of the idea of substance. Then the great question, “ What is truth ?” becomes the leading idea in the Intelligence.
IDEA OF LAW.
Citations from Coleridge. . I shall introduce what I have to say upon this subject by a few passages from the writings of Coleridge:
" What is it which first strikes us, and strikes us at once, in a man of education, and which, among educated men, so instantly distinguishes the man of superior niind, that (as was observed with eminent propriety of the late Edmund Burke) (we cannot stand under the same archway during a shower of rain without finding him out ?' Not the weight or novelty of his remarks; not any unusual interest of facts communicated by him ; for we may suppose both the one and the other precluded by the shortness of our intercourse, and the triviality of the subjects. The difference will be impressed and felt, though the conversation should be confined to the state of the weather or the pavement. Still less will it arise from any peculiarity in his words and phrases.” * * * " There remains but one other point of distinction possible; and this must be, and in fact is, the true cause of the impression made on us. It is the unpremeditated, and evidently habitual arrangement of his words, grounded on the habit of foreseeing, in each integral part, or (more plainly) in every sentence, the whole that he then intends to communicate. However irregular and desultory his talk, there is method in the fragments.
“ Listen, on the other hand, to an ignorant man, though perhaps shrewd and able in his particular calling, whether he be describing or relating. We immediately perceive that his Memory alone is called into action; and that the objects and events recur in the narration in the same order, and with the same accompaniments, however accidental or impertinent, as they had first occurred to the narrator." In other words, there is here an almost entire absence of method, or law. Again:
“ Method becomes natural to the Mind which has been accustomed to contemplate not things only, or for their own sake alone, but likewise and chiefly the relations of things, either their relations to each other, or to the observer, or to