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Now-know all men-or nomen-that to us here, sitting in this sheepfold, in a cove belonging to Glen-Etive, and commanding more than a glimpse of the Loch, a leaguelong gleam, this preferring of the preferable pleasures seems to be-VIRTUE. So much for its connexion with pleasure. Pain, again, enters into virtue very variously. There are pains which it is virtuous to avoid ; e. g. the pain of self-reproach. There is pain out of which it is virtuous, by enduring it, to draw pleasure; e. g. it is virtuous to derive pleasure from the patient endurance of bodily pain-be it the tic douloureux-cancer-stoneor gout. It will, we think, be found that the direct and proper effect of pain, acting in either way upon virtue, that is, shunned by it, or taken in and made part of it, especially in the latter way, is to invigorate virtue. Pleasure produces—pain confirms and strengthens.
Now turn to genius. It too, we say, is born of pleasure and pain-of pleasure let into the mind in ways innu. merable and unspeakable. Are they all intellectual? It shall hardly be said so; but still pleasures which intellect seizes, acknowledges, and appropriates. Some pleasures there are, originally intellectual. Thus the pleasure of the synthesis and analysis of numbers is such ; sometimes so early evinced, as to point to an original constitutional determination, and resulting in genius, which, facile and narrow as its materials, elementarily received, appear, yet in powerful minds, is acknowledged as of high order. The elementary pleasures, again, of colour and sound, appear to us rather to be bodily than intellectual; though it is striking and puzzling that the pleasure of harmony in sound, is the pleasure of a relation of agreement,—who will tell how felt or discerned? You see then, gentle reader, that the boundaries between the properly intellectual and properly sensible elements employed by genius, are hard to draw. The question at present with us—here in this sheepfold-is, how do these pleasures act in evolving genius ? What are they to it?
Now it is easily credible, as a general position, that pleasure may serve to excite the intellectual faculties into activity—but we want something more definite. say, then, that when pleasure has been felt from a par
ticular exertion of the purely intellectual faculties, as from the composition and resolution of numbers, the experience of that pleasure becomes a sufficient motive to the mind to reacquire it, by repeating the action. But further, let us say that the repetition of the action, for the sake of the pleasure, may be either reflective and designed, and distinctly voluntary; or it may be in so small a degree reflective and designed, as scarcely to seem voluntary. The last is—and if ever it could be wholly involuntary, that most of all would, be—in our belief—the repetition proper to genius. The mind is attracted-beguiledwon-falls into the action involuntarily and in pure delight.
But farther-whence is this pure delight ? Seems it should be, either adventitious or essential. Thus, the pleasure of praise, self-esteem, and so on, obtained by an intellectual exertion, is adventitious, and belongs particularly, as an incentive, to that intellectual activity and force, which is not genius. But the direct, instantaneous, and unreflective pleasure, which springs in the sudden intuition of a relation,-for instance, according to the different strength of the mind, of parallel lines being prolonged for ever without approaching or diverging, -of the containing by a definition, of the subject of a definition, -of the congruity of a metaphor with the thought to be signified,-is essential. Pleasure of pride may be an adjunct to the pleasure of the intuition, but is not essential. Now the essential pleasure, we hold, pertains to genius—and is of its essence. Whence, then does it come ?
Why have some minds one essential intellectual pleasure, and some another ? This distinction of pleasures must be connected with another distinction-viz. of aptitude (see Phrenology) in one mind to discern one class of relations,-in another, another. But does the aptitude induce the pleasure, or the pleasure the aptitude ? Doubtless, each induces each in some measure; but sitting here in this sheepfold, we feel assured that there must be a native aptitude to begin with. Let us say, then, that any discernment of relation is a natural source of pleasure, provided it be a quick, active, facile, clear, sure discernment. Then, according to some determination in the intellectual powers given, one mind has this pleasure of discernment as to one class of relations, and another, as to another. And this, we cannot hesitate to say, is the first constituent of difference of genius from genius,—this difference, as it would appear, in the simply intellectual power, and in its very essence. A second, it would appear, is this. The mind is complex. It has a thousand sources of pleasure-all native. So that two minds, having all the thousand sources, the three hundred sources which are much the strongest in one, shall be quite another three hundred from the three hundred which are much the strongest in the other. Take, then, a mind with its characteristic strongest sources. It also has certain distinct intellectual endowments, or discernings of its own. These endowments are among those strongest sources : but are a few of them. Now, see how some of the other sources of pleasure shall work into the action of those intellectual powers, and how this also shall be-Genius! For example, you have the gift of tune, and your flow of feeling is melancholy. If that be not your case--it is ours. Your genius of musicours at least-shall therefore be tender. Thus have we obtained something of a constitution of genius. Doubt there can be none that education helps to make genius, just as it has a power of destroying it.
Now, having got thus far, let us not speak of that characteristic of the action of genius, its tendency to conform its materials to its own thought and will—but let us say a few words of the happiness of genius. As it arises out of, so it produces, pleasure—the same pleasure - doubled and redoubled.” It is an endless multiplication, by selfevolution of pleasure. Compare this with the moral will -and then we come to know something of the comparison of virtue and genius--the subject which we have all along been philosophizing upon here in the sheepfold. Are not both powers of happiness drawn from the sensibility to pleasure, to pain-in other words, from the capacity of happiness excited and exerted? We have neglected to speak of the influence of pain on genius, but it speaks for itself. It deepens, sharpens, strengthens, lightens through genius, and instructs it in existence. Alas! it cannot be said that there is not will in genius. It is most wilful-though, had we time—which we have not-for we must in a few minutes be up and away-we think we could show that there is always a personal respect of some sort in that will which is moral or immoral, opposed to an impersonality of genius. But here is a more distinct difference, which may be shown in two sentences. Moral states of will are states tending, upon the whole of the mind, to produce happiness. The states of genius are states tending, upon a part of the mind, to produce it. Moral states do not, by the constitution of the world, necessarily produce happinessthat is, as the world goes—having been constituted capable of disorder, and being disordered. But moral states, by the constitution of the mind only, if there were no external counteraction, do necessarily produce happiness. On the contrary, genius, by the constitution of the mind only, does not necessarily produce happiness ; but within the mind may be opposed to happiness, may be opposed to morality, may be opposed to the health of the faculties, and therefore, in effect opposed to itself. There is then in genius that for which we love it—there is a claim in it on our love, similar to the claim of morality; and we can perceive that our feelings towards them are analogous.
But there is in genius cause also, why comparing it with, we should place it under, morality, as something less divine. What, then, is that disposition which we sometimes find, and to which many yield, to hold equal genius with morality? Whenever this is done by a clearly and profoundly understanding mind, it is when we see morality-not coming from its source in the sacred mountains-not from love, its sole divine source -but from some lower spring. Thus we can conceive fear in certain obvious, and in some deeper measures, as a moral principle of conduct, and yet merely fear of human, either civil or simply social law, or of eternal consequences. This is policy, and not, in the highest sense, morality. It is conduct deliberately fitted to second ends to be avoided or attained. Yet as conduct, by its face to the world, it is morality. There must be an analogous imperfect morality of mind, as well as of conduct-an integrity of desire, of will, almost of affection, which nevertheless dissatisfies our judgment and feeling; for the causes are not those which we prefer, but some distinct calculating fears, and these alone. Thus the appetites are laid under the laws of natural and religious sanction. They injure health-they incur far-future torments, penal fire. If, on these grounds, indulging or denying them, so far my conduct is moral, of the kind asoresaid. But with the drawing back in conduct, is there not engendered a shrinking in the moral mind, an abhorrence ? For the very appetite itself, the will, the thought, is feared, as inducing that abhorrence. There is restraint in ward, of the mind itself, engendered of fear, without which the state of the will is not regarded by us with love. Now, does not all this prove, and also show, how there may arise a moral will less agreeable to us—and justly so, when feeling finely and thinking profoundly-than genius, in its better and higher working, in which love, though it were but a love of suns and woods, and stars and waters, predominates ? Observe, too, that in the love of nature -bear witness, Oye mountains, and thou, O LochEtive, as now beheld by us from this wild and lone sheepfold ! there always breathes some inspiration of other mightier love towards the Being who created the beauty or the magnificence on which we gaze, and gave us souls to see and to enjoy it. Finally, it will, we think, always be found that that moral will which we regard with less satisfaction, relates to definite objects, as to theft or murder, or such or such a vice. But the moral will which we unreservedly approve, relates to nothing definite; it is an undefined power, universally applicable, applying itself instantaneously and intuitively to the object presented, and acknowledging or rejecting it by its discernings and intimations of the very moment.