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sottling' many disputes rolative to the senses, therefore there is a sufficient foundation for a and their representative the imagination, we conclusive reasoning on these matters. 2 find that the principles are the same in all, and Whilst we consider taste merely according that there is no disagreement until we come to to its nature and species, we shall find its prin. examine into the pre-eminence or difference of ciples entirely uniform ; but the degree in things, which brings us within the province of which these principles prevail, in the several the judgment.
individuals of mankind, is altogether as differ So long as we are conversant with the sen- ent as the principles themselves are similars Biblo qualities of things, hardly any more than For sensibility and judgment, which are the the imagination seems concerned ; little more qualities that compose what we commonly call also than the imagination seems concerned a taste, vary exceedingly in various peoplo. when the passions are represented, because by From a defect in the former of these qualities, the force of natural sympathy they are felt in arises a want of taste ; a weakness in the latall men without any recourse to reasoning, and ter, constitutes a wrong or a bad one. There their justress recognised in every breast. Love, are some men formed with feelings so blunt; grief, fear, anger, joy, all these passions have with tempers so cold and phlegmatic, that they in their turns affected every mind; and they do can hardly bo, said to be awake during the not affect it in an arbitrary or casual manner, whole course of their lives. Upon such pera but upon certain, natural, and uniform prin- sons the most striking objects make but a faint ciples. But as many of the works of imagi- and obscure inpression. There are others 80 nation are not confined to the representation of continually in the agitation of gross and merely sensible objects, nor to efforts upon the passions, sensual pleasures, or so occupied in the low but extend themselves to the manners, the cha- drudgery of avarice, or so heated in the chace racters, the actions, and designs of men, their of honours and distinction, that their minds, relations, their virtues and vices, they come which had been used continually to the storms within the province of the judgment, which is of these violent and tempestuous passions, can improved by attention and by the habit of hardly be put in motion by the delicate and rereasoning. All these make a very consider-fined play of the imagination. These men, able part of what are considered as the ob though from a different cause, become as stupid jects of taste ; and Horace sends us to the and insensible as the former ; but whene schools of philosophy and the world for our either of these happen to be struck with any instruction in them. Whatever certainty is natural clegance or greatness, or with these to be acquired in morality and the science of qualities in any work of art, they are moved life; just the same degree of certainty have we upon the same principle. in what relates to them in the works of imita- The cause of a wrong taste is a defect of tion. Indeed it is for the most part in our skill judgment. And this may arise from a natural in manners,
and in the observances of time and weakness of understanding, (in whatever the place, and of decency in general, which is strength of that faculty may consist,) or,
which only to be learned in those schools, to which is much more commonly the case, it may arise. Horace recommends us, that what is called from a want of proper and well-directed exer« laste, by way of distinction, consists ; and cise, which alone can make it strong and ready. which is in reality no other than a more refined Besides that ignorance, inattention, prejudice, judgment. On the whole, it appears to me, rashness, levity, obstinacy, in short, all those that what is called taste, in its most general passions, and all those vices, which pervert the acceptation, is not a simple idea, but is partly judgment in other matters, prejudice it no less: made up of a perception of the primary plca- in this its more refined and elegant province. sures of sense, of the secondary pleasures of These causes produco different opinions upon the imagination, and of the conclusions of the every thing which is an object of the under reasoning faculty, concerning the various rela- standing, without inducing us to suppose that tions of these, and concerning the human there are no settled principles of reason. And passions, manners, and actions. All this is indeed on the whole one may observe, that requisite to form taste, and the ground-work of there is rather less difference upon matters of all these is the same in the human mind; for as taste among mankind, than upon most of those the senses are the great originals of all our ideas which depend upon the naked reason; and and consequently of all our pleasures, if they that inen are far better agreed on the excellence are not uncertain and arbitrary, the whole of a description in Virgil, than on the truth of ground-work of taste is common to all, and falsehood of a theory of Aristotle.
A rectitude of judgment in the arts, which those minds. The most powerful effects of may be called a good taste, does in a great poetry and music have been displayed, and measure depend upon sensibility ; because if perhaps are still displayed, where these arts the mind has no bent to the pleasures of the are but in a very low and imperfect state. The imagination, it will never apply itself suffi- rude hearer is affected by the principles which ciently to works of that species to acquire a operate in these arts even in their rudest concompetent knowledge in them. But, though dition; and he is not skilful enough to perceive a degree of sensibility is requisite to form a the defects. But as arts advance towards their good judgment, yet a good judgment does not perfection, the science of criticism advances necessarily arise from a quick sensibility of with equal pace, and the pleasure of judges is pleasure ; it frequently happens that a very poor frequently interrupted by the faults which are judge, merely by force of a greater complexional discoverod in the most finished compositions. Bensibility, is more affected by a very poor piece,
Before I leave this subject, I cannot help than the best judge by the most perfect; for as taking notice of an opinion which many perevery thing new, extraordinary, grand, or
pas- sons entertain, as if the taste were a separate sionate, is well calculated to affect such a per- faculty of the mind, and distinct from the judge son, and that the faults do not affect him, his ment and imagination; a species of instinct, by pleasure is more pure and unmixed ; and as it is which we are struck naturally, and at the first merely a pleasure of the imagination, it is much, glance, without any previous reasoning, with higher than any which is derived from a recti- the excellencies, or the defects of a composition. tude of the judgment; the judgment is for the So far as the imagination and the passions are greater part employed in throwing stumbling, concerned, I believe it true, that the reason is blocks in the way of the imagination, in dis- litilo consulted; but where disposition, where sipating the scenes of its enchantment, and in decorum, where congruity are concerned, in tying us down to the disagreeablo yoke of our short, wherever the best taste differs from the reason:for almost the only pleasure that we have worst, I am convinced that the understanding in judging better than others, consists in a sort operates and nothing else : and its operation is of conscious pride and superiority, which arises in reality far from being always sudden, or, from thinking rightly; but then, this is an indi- when it is sudden, it is often far from being rect pleasure, a pleasure which does not imme- right. Men of the best laste by considoration diately result from the object which is under come frequently to change these early and contemplation. In the morning of our days, precipitate judgments, which the mind, from when the senses are unworn and tender, when its aversion to neutrality and doubt loves to the whole man is awake in every part, and the form on the spot. It is known that the taste gloss of novelty fresh upon all the objects that (whatever it is) is improved exactly as we imsurround us, how lively at that time are our prove our judgment, by extending our knowsensations, but how false and inaccurate the ledge, by a steady attention to our object, and judgments we form of things ? I despair of ever by frequent exercise. They who have not receiving the same degree of pleasure from the taken these methods, if their taste decides most excellent performances of genius, which I quickly, it is always uncertainly; and their fele at that age from pieces which my present quickness is owing to their presumption and judgment regards as trifling and contemptible. rashness, and not to any hidden irradiation that Every trivial cause of pleasure is apt to affect in a moment dispels all darkness from their. the man of too sanguine a complexion: his ep- minds. But they who have cultivated that petite is too keen to suffer his taste to be deli- species of knowledge which makes the object cate; and he is in all respects what Ovid says of taste, by degrees and habitually attain not of himself in love,
only a soundness, but a readiness of judgment,
as men do by the same methods on all other Molle meum levibus cor est violabilo telis, occasions. At first they are obliged to spell, Et semper caasa est, cur ego semper amem. but at last they read with ease and with ce
lerity, but this celerity of its operation is no One of this character can never be a refined proof, that the tasto is a distinct faculty. Na judge ; never what the comic poet calls elegans body, I believe, has attended the course of a formar um speclator. The excellence and force discussion, which turned upon matters within of a composition must always be imperfectly the sphere of mere naked reason, but must have estimated from its effect on the minds of any, observed the extreme readiness with which the axcopt we know the temper and character of whole process of the argunicnt is carried on, the grounds discovered, the objections raised This matter might be pursued much farand answered, and the conclusions drawn from ther; but it is not the extent of the subject premises, with a quickness altogether as great which must prescribe our bounds, for what as the taste can be supposed to work with ; subject does not branch out to infinity ? is and yet whero nothing but plain reason either is is the nature of our particular schome, and or can be suspected to operate. To multiply the single point of view in which we can principles for overy different appearance, is use sider it, which ought to put a stop to our ran lose and unphilosophical too in a high degree. searches
PIN AND PLEASURE
PART I.-SECTION L
liarity. Somo dogree of novelty must bo opo of the materials in every instrument which works upon the mind; and curiosity blends
itself more or less with all our passions. The first and the simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind, is Curiosity. By curiosity I mean whatever desire we have for, or whatever pleasure we take in, novelty. We
SECTION II. see children perpetually running from place to place to hunt out something new: they catch with great eagerness, and with very little choice, at whatever comes before them; their It seems then necessary towards moving the attention is engaged by every thing, because passions of people advanced in life to any conevery thing has, in that stage of life,
the charm siderable degree, that the objects designed for of novelty to recommend it. But as those things that purpose, besides their being in some mea which engage us merely by their novelty, cannot sure now, should be capable of exciting pain or attach us for any length of time, curiosity is the pleasure from other causes. Pain and pleasure most superficial of all the affections; it changes are simple ideas, incapable of defnition. Peo its object perpetually; it has an appetite which ple are not liable to be mistaken in their feelings, is very sharp, but very easily satisfied ; and it but they are very frequently wrong in the names has always an appearance of giddiness, rest- they give them, and in their reasonings about lessness and anxiety. Curiosity, from its naturo, them. Many are of opinion, that pain arises is a very active principle; it quickly runs over necessarily from the removal of some pleasure; the groatest part of its objects, and soon ex- as they think pleasure does from the ceasing or hausts the variety which is commonly to be met diminution of some pain. For my part, I am with in nature ; the same things make frequent rather inclined to imagine, that pain and plear returns, and they return with less and less of sure, in their most simple and natural aanner any agreeable effect. In short, the occurrences of affecting, are each of a positive nature, and of life, by the time we come to know it a little, by no means necessarily dependent on each would be incapablo of affocting the mind with other for their existence. The human mind is any other sensations than those of loathing and often, and I think it is for the most part, in a weariness, if many things were not adaplod to state neither of pain nor pleasure, which I call affect the mind by means of other powers be- a state of indifference. When I am carried sides novelty in them, and of other passions from this state into a state of actual pleasure, besides curiosity in ourselves. These powers it does not appear noccssary that I should pass and passions shall be considered in their place. through the medium of any sort of pain. If in But whatever these powers are, or upon what such a state of indifferenco, or oase, or treat principle soever they affoct the mind, it is quillity, or call it what you please, you wero absolutely nocessary that they should not be to be suddenly entertained with a concert of czerted in those things which a daily and valgar music; or supporo some object of a fine shapo, use have brought into a stalo unaffecting lami and bright lively colours, lo be presented before
you; or imagine your smell is gratified with the pain and pleasure are not only not necessarily fragra..ce of a rose; or if without any previous dependent for their existence on their mutual thirst you were to drink of some pleasant kind diminution or removal, but that, in reality, the of wine, or to taste of some sweetmeat without diminution or ceasing of pleasure does not being hungry; in all the several senses, of operate like positive pain, and that the rehearing, smelling, and tasting, you undoubtedly moval or diminution of pain, in its effect, has find a pleasure; yet if I inquire into the state very little resemblance to positive pleasure.* of your mind previous to these gratifications, The former of these propositions will, I believe, you will hardly tell me that they found you in be much more readily allowed than the latter ; any kind of pain; or, having satisfied these because it is very evident that pleasure when several senses with their several pleasures, will it has run its career, sets us down very nearly you say that any pain has succeeded, though where it found us. Pleasure of every kind the pleasure is absolutely over ? Suppose, on quickly satisfies; and when it is over, we rethe other hand, a man in the same state of in- lapse into indifference, or rather we fall into a difference, to receive a violent blow, or to drink soft tranquillity, which is tinged with the agreeof some bitter potion, or to have his ears wound- able colour of the former sensation. I own it ed with some harsh and grating sound; here is is not at first view so apparent, that the removal no removal of pleasure; and yet here is felt, of a great pain does not resemble positive pleain every sense which is affected, a pain very sure; but let us recollcct in what state we have distinguishable. It may be said, perhaps, that found our minds upon escaping some imminent the pain in these cases had its rise from the danger, or on being released from the severity removal of the pleasure which the man enjoyed of some cruel pain. We have on such occabofore, though that pleasure was of so low a sions found, if I am not much mistaken, the degree as to be perceived only by the removal. temper of our minds in a tenour very remote But this seems to me a subtilty, that is not from that which attends the presence of posidiscoverable in nature. For if, previous to the tive pleasure: we have found them in a state pain, I do not feel any actual pleasure, I have of much sobriety, impressed with a sense of no reason to judge that any such thing exists; awé, in a sort of tranquillity shadowed with since pleasure is only pleasure as it is felt. horrour. The fashion of the countenance and The same may be said of pain, and with equal tho gesture of the body on such occasions is so reason. I can never persuade myself that plea- correspondent to this state of mind, that any sure and pain are mere relations, which can person, a stranger to the cause of the appear. only exist as they are contrasted; but I think I ance, would rather judge us under some concan discern clearly that there are positive pains sternation, than in the enjoyment of any thing and pleasures, which do not at all depend upon like positive pleasure. each other. Nothing is more certain lo my own feelings than this. There is nothing which Ως δ' οταν ανδρ ατη πυκινη λαβη, οστ’ ενι πατρη I can distinguish in my mind with more clear- Φωτα κατακτεινας, αλλον εξικετο δημoν, ness than the three states, of indiference, of Aνδρος ες αφνειου, θαμβο, δ' εχει εισορωντας. pleasure, and of pain. Every one of these I
ILIAD. 24. can perceive without any sort of idea of its relation to any thing else. Caius is afflicted
As when a wretch, who, conscious of his crime,
Pursued for murder from his native clime, with a fit of the cholic; this man is actually in Just gains some frontier, breathless, pale, pain; stretch Caius upon the rack, he will feel amaz'd; a much greater pain: but does this pain of the All gaze, all wonder ! rack arise from the removal of
any pleasure ? or is the fit of the cholic a pleasure or a pain This striking appearance of the man whom just as we are pleased to considor it?
Homer supposes to have just escaped an imminent danger, the sort of mixed passion of terrour and surprise, with which he affects the
spectators, paints very strongly the manner in SECTION IIL.
which we find ourselves affected upon occasions any way similar. For when we have suffered
* Mr. Locke (Essay on Human Understand. ing, 1. ii. c. 20. sect. 16.) thinks that the removal
or lessening of a pain is considered and operates We shall carry this proposition yet a step pleasure as a pain. It is
as a pleasure, and the loss or diminishing of further. We shall venture to propose, that consider here.
opinion which wo
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE REMOVAL
| OF PAIR AND POSITIVE PLEASURE,