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found to be the properties of all the feelings of Taste.

Q. Are the pleasures of Taste necessary for the common purposes of life?

A. No: and are therefore proofs of the benevolence of the Deity, for they greatly enlarge the bounds of buman happiness.*

Q. In what consists a sublime emotion?

A. In an admiration and expansion of the mind, attended with a degree of awfulness and solemnity, approaching to severity; it is the opposite of the gay and brisk emotion raised by beautiful objects.

Q. In what does the simplest form of external grandeur appear?

A. In the vast and boundless prospects presented to us by nature,-such as widely extended plains; the firmament of heaven; the expanse of the ocean.

Q. Does all vastness produce the impression of sublimity?

A. Yes. Remove all bounds from any object, and you render it sublime. Hence, infinite space; endless numbers; and eternal duration, fill the mind with great ideas.

Q. What is the most copious source of sublime ideas?


Not content

"With every food of life to nourish Man;
"By kind illusions of the wandering sense,
"Thou mak'st all nature, Beauty to his eye,
"Or Music to his ear."


A. The exertion of great power and force. Hence, the grandeur of earthquakes and burning mountains; of great conflagrations; of the stormy ocean and overflowing waters; of tempests of wind; of thunder and lightning; of the war-horse; and of battles.

Q. What effect have darkness, solitude, and silence?

A. They tend, greatly, to assist the sublime. The firmament filled with stars, strikes the imagination with a more awful grandeur than when enlightened by the sun; the deep sound of a bell at midnight, affects the mind more than at noon.*

Q. What other things are favourable to the sublime?

A. Obscurity, as in an indistinct vision ;† and Disorder, as in a wild mass of rocks.

* Darkness is very commonly applied for adding sublimity to all our ideas of the Deity. "He maketh "darkness his pavilion; he dwelleth in the thick "cloud." So Milton:

How oft, amidst

Thick clouds and dark, does heaven's all-ruling Sire
Choose to reside, his glory unobscur'd,
And, with the majesty of darkness, round
Circles his throne-

We may see this fully exemplified in the following noble passage from the book of Job. "In thoughts "from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth 66 on men, fear came upon me, and trembling, which "made all my bones to shake. Then a spirit passed "before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up: it "stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof:

Q. What conveys an idea of sublimity in buildings?

A. Greatness of dimensions, united with greatness of manner. A Gothic Cathedral raises ideas of grandeur by its size, its height, its awful obscurity, its strength, its antiquity, and its durability.

Q. What other class of sublime objects is there, besides what is found in the works of nature?

A. That which arises from certain exertions of the human mind, from certain affections and actions of our fellow-creatures; which may be called the moral or sentimental sublime*.

Q. Is high virtue essential to the moral sublime?

A. It increases it; but there is sublimity in the acts of the splendid conqueror, and the daring conspirator.

Q. What is the fundamental quality of the sublime?

A. Some have supposed it to be amplitude; others, terror; but mighty force or power has a better title to it.

66 an image was before mine eyes; there was silence; " and I heard a voice-Shall mortal man be more just "than God?" (Job iv. 15.)

* Porus, taken prisoner by Alexander, after a gallant defence, being asked in what manner he would be treated? answered, “Like a king." Cæsar chided the pilot who was afraid in the storm, with "Quid times, Cæsarem vehis?""


Q. What is Sublime Writing?

A. Such a description of things which are, in themselves, of a sublime nature, as shall give us strong impressions of them.

Q. In what is the foundation of it laid?.
A. In the nature of the objects described.
Q. What must that be?

A. Elevating; awful; magnificent.
Q. How must the object be described ?
A. With strength; conciseness; and simpli

Q. Where are we to look for the most striking instances of the sublime?

A. Among the most ancient authors.
Q. How is this to be accounted for?

A. The early ages of the world and rude states of society, are favourable to sublime emotions. Cultivation is more favourable to accuracy than to sublimity.

Q. What writings afford us the highest instances of the sublime?

A. The Sacred Scriptures.

Q. What descriptions in the Scriptures excel in the sublime?

A. The descriptions of the Deity.*

"He stood and measured the earth: he beheld, "and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting "mountains were scattered; the perpetual hills did "bow; his ways are everlasting. The mountains saw thee, and they trembled; the overflowing of


Q. What passage from Moses is mentioned by Longinus, as belonging to the true sublime? A. " God said, Let there be light and there was light." Gen. i. 3.

Q. What heathen poet has, in all ages, been admired for sublimity?

A. Homer.

Q. To what is he indebted for much of his grandeur ?

A. To his native and unaffected simplicity. Q. What works, of more recent date, abound in the sublime ?

A. The poems of Ossian.

Q. What scenes does he describe?

A. The rude scenes of nature and of society. He possesses all the plain and venerable manner of the ancient times.*

Q. What is essential to sublime writing?
A. Conciseness, simplicity, and strength.
Q. To what is conciseness opposed?
A. To superfluous expression.
Q. To what, simplicity?

"the water passed by; the deep uttered his voice, "and lifted up his hands on high."—Hab. iii. 6, 10.

"As autumns dark storms pour from two echoing hills, toward each other approached the heroes. As two dark streams from high rocks, meet and mix and roar on the plain; loud, rough, and dark in battle meet Lochlin and Irisfail; chief mixes his strokes with chief, and man with man. The groans of the people spread over the hills. It was like the thunder of night, when the cloud burst on Cona, and a thousand ghosts shriek at once on the hollow wind." Here are images of awful sublimity.

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