Imagens das páginas

and beyond himself, in search of objects fitted to quicken the emotions of greatness and dignity. And yet surely if any idea, purely selfish, had power to call up and sustain such emotions, the idea and the hope of endless existence might do so. But whenever we meditate upon eternity, and think of our own part in it, we dwell much more upon the scenes, the personages, and the events it shall connect us with, than conceive of ourselves, simply, as destined to live for ever. It is no wonder then if this same rule holds good, when nothing beyond the present scene of things is contemplated. We can hardly err in assigning the reason of a mechanism so remarkable.— If human nature had been so constituted as that the imaginative emotions could have found sufficient range within the lone precincts of the soul, and if there had been opened to every one (or at least to heroic spirits) a world of splendid illusions—such that he should have had no need to look abroad, man must have become, in a frightful sense, an insulated being; nor perhaps would any other impulse, drawn either from his wants, his fears, or his affections, have availed to connect him firmly and permanently with his fellows. No conception much more appalling can be entertained than that of a proud demigod, who, finding an expanse of greatness within his own bosom-an expanse wherein he could take ample sweep, and incessantly delight himself, should start off from the populous universe,

the admiration of those who witness their ebullition. These harsh elements of the moral system must be taken into combination with sentiments of a different, and a happier order, and must almost be concealed within such sentiments, before they can assume any sort of beauty, or appear in splendour. That such combinations do actually take place, and in conformity too with the intentions of nature, is true; but it is true also, that by the very means of the mixture, the worse or rancorous element is vastly moderated and refined. Let it be granted, for example, that wars have often originated in the military ambition and false thirst of glory to

self-love, and generate either a sullen and obdurate pride, which makes every other being an enemy, as a supposed impugner of rights and honours that are its due; or else (and especially as combined with derangement of the hepatic functions) beyets a rabid jealousy or reptile envy-passion of the most wretched natures! Qur modern intellectual science yet wants a term to serve in the place of that theologico-metaphysic one-THE WILL. Analysis must be pushed a little further than it has gone before the deficiency can be well supplied. Meanwhile let us say that the malign passions have a characteristic alliance with “the will”—an alliance if not clearly to be distinguished from those it forms with self-lore, yet distinct enough to arrest attention. As a single example we might name that undefined, and not easily analysed, cruelty or wanton and tranquil delight in torments, bloodshed, and destruction, which has given a dread notoriety to some few names in history. In such cases it has seemed as if the spontaneous principle would prove its force and its independence in the mode that should, more effectively than any other, make all men confess it to be free. Instances of malignity meet us which are at once too placid to be charged entire upon the irascible enotions, and too vague to be accounted for by the inducements of either selfishness or pride, and which, if they do not declare the presence of a determining cause that has no immediate dependence upon assignable motives, must remain quite unexplained.

which certain gorgeous sentiments give an appearance of virtue. This may be true, but can we easily estimate the degree in which war universally has been softened and relieved in its attendant horrors, by the corrective influence of these very mixed emotions, extravagant and false as they are ? And is it certain that there would have been altogether less bloodshed on earth, if mere sanguinary rage, and if the cupidity of empire, had been left to work their ends alone? For every thousand victiṁs immolated at the altar of martial pride, have not ten thousand been rescued by the noble and generous usages that have belonged to the system of warfare among all civilized nations? Surely it may be said that, unless the imaginative sentiments had thus blended themselves with the destructive passions, the ambition of men would have been like that of fiends, and the human family must long ago have suffered extermination.

Ideas of chivalrous virtue and of royal magnanimity (ideas directly springing from the imagination) much more than any genuine sentiments of humanity, have softened the ferocious pride of mighty warriors. For though it may be true that some sparks or rare flashes of mere compassion have, once and again, gleamed from the bosoms of such men; yet assuredly if good will to their fellows had been more than a transient emotion, the sword would never have been their toy. But the imaginative sentiments are a and dwell content in the centre of an eternal solitude!

It may well be assumed as probable that the Creator has granted to none of his rational family the prerogative of so fatal a sort of selfsufficiency. Assuredly no such power is granted to man. Even those instances that may seem the most nearly to approach the idea just now mentioned, do in fact, when accurately looked at, support the general principle. The man of the wilderness, for example, is still a social being, though in a very perverted manner; and we should find convincing proof of the fact if we could only listen to those often rehearsed and monotonous soliloquies of which the great world—its noise, its vanity, and its corruptions are the theme. Yes, he congratulates himself anew every day that mankind is far remote from his cell. But why can he not drop this reference altogether? Why not cease to think of what he does not see-does not feel? It is because the gloomy and vexed imagination of the solitary--spite of itself, can find none but the faintest excitements within its own circle, and so is driven to roam abroad in search of stimulants. The world, we may be assured, is as indispensable a material to the enthusiasm of the anchoret, as it is to that of the busiest and most ambitious votary of fame. Only let some breathless messenger-like those that brought tidings of dismay to the Arabian patriarch, reach

the cavern of the hermit, and announce to him that his love of solitude was at length effectively and for ever sealed by the utter extinction of the human race :-solitude, from that instant, would not merely lose all its fancied charms, but would become terrible and insufferable ; and this man of seclusion, starting like a maniac from his wilderness, would run round the world, in search, if haply it might be, of some straggling survivors !

Nor is it a few foreign materials that are enough to give effect to the alliance of the imagination with the selfish principle. A vigorous enthusiasm must embrace a broad field. Thus patrician pride, and the arrogance of illustrious blood must not only go very far back, but stretch itself very widely too, before it can acquire the alacrity or the force that distinguishes imaginative sentiments. The pride of ancestry is a sullen grace, and has always about it an air akin to melancholy or depression. The enthusiasm of the very meanest member of a warriorclan is tenfold more animate than that of the head of a house laden with the decorations of heraldry. In the former instance the imagination grasps the compass of the community of which the individual is a part : in the latter, one slender line, terminating in self, is all that engages the fancy; and it is in vain, with so attenuated an object only in view, that pride chides itself for its dull and sluggish movements. The Chief

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