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Dissertation On Sublimity.S

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Logo afternoon with tremendous effect, and made in cash, and a great many in property; a fine breach, and some hundreds of Bhurt- and I expect my share will be worth poreens perished in the ruinse Stones of having. There were only two artillery and enormous size came flying over our trenches, five engineer officers wounded, and one but luckily no mischief was done. co engineer killed, during a siege of twenty-six

The mine under the other bastion not days, but many narrow escapes, and we being ready, the storming was postponed were always within musket range, and the -17th. This night the engineers reported enemy kept up a constant fire on our batall would be in readiness in the morning, teries. I was eighteen days and nights on and the storming parties were ordered-two duty 44,000 eighteen and twenty-four columns of 4,000 men each, to enter the pound shot, and upwards of 17,000 shells, breaches, and two small ones to escalade were thrown into the town and citadel, the two gateways right and left of the which caused great destruction. The inhabreaches. - 18th. The right column was bitants suffered dreadfully, as the place was close to, and in my battery, with the commander-in-chief and staff--at nine o'clock, brass guns were found on the ramparts, and all being ready, two mines in the counter- several destroyed by our fire, with immense scarp of the ditch were sprung, and imme- stores of ammunition of every description." diately after, the grand mine (10,000 lbs. of It is surprising what faith the natives all powder) went off most magnificently; the over India had in the strength of this place; shock was tremendous, and in an instant they considered it impregnable, and had we were almost buried in the ruins, and I we failed, the whole of India would have am sorry to say, many lives were lost on been in arms against us, instead of that enour part; we were much too close, being tire submission which now exists among all within two hundred yards; several officers

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the powers. uldsteater flo en about received severe contusions, and I came in The young Rajah was reinstated in his for a few hard knocks, but none of any government on the 4th of February ; but a great consequence. This was the signal for force of arms is to be cantoned in his terristorming, and our gallant fellows rushed tories. The whole of the works have been out of the trenches, and ascended the destroyed, and this far-famed fortress is breaches in noble style; the enemy made humbled to the dust. We remained in a most determined resistance on the ram-possession until the 6th, sending our parties parts. Our two columns scoured the ram- to the other forts in the Bhurtpore state, parts right and left, and by twelve o'clock five in all, which surrendered without firing the whole of the town was ours. The enemy a shot. On the 8th, the ariny marched in fought nobly; upwards of 4,000 slain; progress to Alwar ; we reached the frontier wounded unknown ; our loss in the storm- on the 10th, and halted. After much neing was four officers killed, thirty-four gociation, the Rajah accepted our terms, wounded, and 580 non-commissioned and The fortress of Alwar is situated on a range privates. Segond 10. wird

of high rocky hills, and built of stone, but The town being thus ours, we commen not capable of making any great resistance. ced operations against the citadel under bat- Having thus brought the campaign to a teries on the top of the town ramparts. happy conclusion, the army broke up on About two o'clock a flag of truce was held the 21st of February, and we are now on out, and a bakeel came to head-quarters on our march back to our respective stations, the part of Bulwant Sing, the young Ra la bava dob du bre saiofo foldt: jah, delivering up every thing unconditionally. Doorjan Sal the usurper, who was DISSERTATION ON SUBLIMITY..60049 the cause of the war, had taken himself off SUBLIMITY is a term applicable to external with his family and jewels; however, he objects, and also to discourse or writing, was taken by a party of the eighth cavalry, and nearly synonymous with grandeur; or and is snug in confinement at Allahabad. if there be any distinction between them, All the enemy who escaped from the town it arises from sublimity's expressing granwere either cut up or detained by the deur in its highest degree. The precise cavalry.us ne 910ig von bis mer impression occasioned by the view of great Si The destruction of the town was horrible; and sublime objects, is more easily conceived parties of 150 and 200 men lay dead, dy. than described. It produces a sort of ining, and burning in heaps; their cotton ternal elevation and expansion, raising the jackets caught fire, and many a poor | mind much above its ordinary state, and wounded man was burnt alive. We were filling it with a degree of wonder and asthree days in collecting and burning the tonishment, not leasily expressedal hoThe dead. We have secured fifty lacs of rupees | emotion is delightful, but serious; accom

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panied, at its height, with a degree of aw / "Obscure they went; through dreary shades, that, fulness and solemnity, approaching to sem Along the waste dominions of the dead, .

As wander travellers in woods by night, more more gay and brisk emotion excited by

ay and brisk emotion excited by By the moon's doubtful and malignant light." beautiful objects.

DRYDEN., The simplest form of external grandeur Obscurity is not unfavourable to the subappears in the vast and boundless prospects lime; for though it render the object inpresented to us by nature; such as wide distinct, the impression, however, may be extended plains, to which the eye can per- great; the imagination being strongly af, ceive no limits; the firmament of heaven; fected by objects of which we have no or the interminable expanse of the ocean. | clear conception. Thus we see, that almost Accordingly, amplitude of extent, more all the descriptions which are given us of especially with regard to height or depth, the appearances of supernatural beings, is necessary to grandeur. Any object be carry some sublimity, though the concepcomes sublime by depriving it of all tions they afford be confused and indisbounds; and hence infinite space, endless tinct. This sublimity arises from the ideas, numbers, and eternal duration, fill the mind which they always convey, of superior with great ideas.

power and might, joined with an awful obscuBut amplitude of extent is not the only rity. (see Job iv, 13-17.) Thus also, the foundation of sublimity, because objects picture which Lucretius, lib. i. has drawn that have no relation to space appear sub- of the dominion of superstition over manLime, such, for instance, is great loudness kind, representing it as a portentous spectre of sound; the burst of thunder or of cannon, shewing its head from the clouds, and disthe roaring of winds, the sound of vast maying the whole human race with its cataracts of water, and the shouting of mul countenance, together with the magnanimity titudes, are all incontestably grand objects. of Epicurus in raising himself up against it, Thus, “I heard the voice of a great multi- carries all the grandeur of a sublime, ob tude, as the sound of many waters, and of scure, and awful image. mighty thunderings, saying, Allelujah.” In general, all objects that are greatly Hence, we may observe in general, that raised above us, or far removed from us, great power and force exerted, always raise either in space or in time, are apt to strike sublime conceptions, and furnish perhaps us as great. Moreover, disorder, as well the most copious source of such ideas. as obscurity, is very compatible with gran, We may add, that all ideas of the solemndeur, and even frequently heightens it. and awful kind, and even bordering on the Few things that are strictly regular and terrible, tend very much to assist the sub methodical appear sublime. In the feeble lime ; such as darkness, solitude, and attempts which human art can make tosilence. Hence, night-scenes are com- wards producing grand objects, greatness monly the most sublime. Darkness is very of dimensions always constitutes a principal frequently used for adding sublimity to all part. No pile of building can convey any our ideas of the Deity. Thus the psalmist idea of sublimity, unless it be ample and adopts the term; "He maketh darkness lofty. Thus, a Gothic cathedral raises his pavilion : he dwelleth in the thick ideas of grandeur in our minds, by its size, cloud.” Şo Milton, book ii, 263, | its height, its awful obscurity, its strength,

| its antiquity, and its durability. " - How oft amidst Thick clouds and dark, does Heaven's all-ruling

The author, whose observations on this Sire

subject we are now citing, mentions another Choose to reside, his glory unobscur'd,

class of sublime objects, which may be And with the inajesty of darkness, round Circles bis throne.

called the moral, or sentimental sublime;

arising from certain exertions of the human Virgil has also, with great art, incorpo

mind, from certain affections and actions rated all the ideas of silence, vacuity, and

of our fellow-creatures. These may be darkness, when he is introducing his hero

referred to that class, which is distinguished to the infernal regions, and disclosing the

by the appellation of magnanimity or hesecrets of the great deep :

roism ; and they produce an effect very "Ye subterranean goda, whose awful sway

similar to that which is produced by the • The gliding glosts and silent shades obey': view of grand objects in nature; filling O Chaos, hear ! and Phlegethon profound !

the mind with admiration, and elevating it Whose solemn empire stretches all around ! Give me, ye great tremendous powers ! to tell above itself. Of this sentimental sublime, Of scenes and wonders in the depths of Hell;

we are furnished with instances in the faGive me your weighty secrets to display, From those black realms of darkness to the day." mous contest between the Horatii and the

Pitt. I Curiatii, in the case of Porus and Alexang 128, Vol. XI.

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der, and also of Cæsar. High virtue is the objects with a magnificent display of most natural and fertile source of this moral imagery and diction, but that force of com sublimity.

position, whatever it be, which excites the It has been a subject of inquiry, whether passions, and which expresses ideas, at there be any one fundamental quality in once with perspicuity and elevation, not which all the different objects above-men solicitous whether the language be plain or tioned, and others of a like kind, agree, ornamented, refined or familiar. This is and which is the cause of their prodacing the sense in which Longinus uses the an emotion of the same nature in our word; and he points out five sources of minds? The ingenious author of “ A Phi- this sublimity. Dr. Blair allows only two losophical Inquiry into the Origin of our to have any peculiar relation to the subIdeas of the Sublime and Beautiful," has lime. The sublime consists either in lanproposed a formal theory for the solution of guage or sentiment, or more frequently in this question. According to Mr. Burke, an union of both, since they reciprocally terror is the source of the sublime, and, in assist each other, and since there is a his opinion, no objects have this character necessary and indissoluble connection ben but such as produce impressions of pain tween them. The foundation of the suband danger. But Dr. Blair thinks, that, lime in composition must always be laid although many terrible objects are highly in the nature of the object described. sublime, the author now mentioned has Besides, the object must not only be substretched his theory too far, when he repre lime itself, but it must be so exhibited, as sents the sublime as consisting wholly in to give us a clear and full impression of it. modes of danger, or of pain : for the pro- | For this purpose, it must be observed, that per sensation of sublimity appears to be the early ages of the world, and the rude very distinguishable from the sensation of unimproved state of society, are peculiarly either of these ; and on several occasions favourable to the strong emotions of sub to be entirely separated from them. In limity; in such circumstances the genius many grand objects, there is no coinci- of men is much turned to admiration and dence with terror at all; and in many astonishment. painful and terrible objects, there is no sort Among ancient authors we are the most of grandeur. Dr. Blair inclines to think, likely to find striking instances of the subthat mighty force or power, whether ac- lime; and more of these occur in the companied with terror or not, whether em- sacred scriptures than in any other writployed in protecting or in alarming us, ings, ancient or modern. In the preceding has a better title than any thing that has part of this article, we have noticed the yet been mentioned to be the fundamental descriptions which they afford us of the quality of the sublime, as no sublime ob- | Deity; descriptions that are wonderfully ject occurs to him, into the idea of which noble, both on account of the grandeur of power, strength, and force, either enter in- | the object, and the manner of representing directly, or are not, at least, intimately it. (See Psalm xviii. 6, &c. Habbakkuk associated with the idea by leading our iü. 6-10. See also the passages cited by thoughts to some astonishing power, as Longinus from Moses, Gen. i. 3, and concerned in the production of the object. Isaiah xiv. 24, 27, 28.) Under this head

Before we close our account of subli- we may mention another passage in Psalm mity, as it respects external objects, and lxv. 7, “God stilleth the noise of the seas, mental or moral qualities, we shall bestow the noise of their waves, and the tumults a few words on the difference between of the people." For a variety of other sublimity and beauty. The pleasure afforded passages that occur in the sacred writings, by the contemplation of beauty appears to selected by the learned Bishop Lowth as be a pure and unmixed pleasure, but it is specimens of sublimity both of sentiment less vivid than that which is produced by and language, we refer to his lectures on the sublime. For as the latter often borders the sacred poetry of the Hebrews. upon terror, it requires a greater exertion, “Homer has been admired in all ages, and produces a stronger, though less dur- and by all critics, for sublimity; much of able sensation, than the beautiful. The which he owes to that native and unafa sublime also differs from the beautiful, in fected simplicity which characterizes his being only conversant with great objects; manner. His descriptions of hosts engag and it differs from the pathetic, in affording ing; the animation, the fire, and rapidity, a more tranquil pleasure.

which he throws into his battles, present Sublimity in discourse or writing, under- | to every reader of the Iliad, frequent instood in its most extensive sense, is not stances of sublime writing. His introducmerely that sublimity which exhibits great tion of the gods tends often to heighten, in

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a high degree, the majesty of his warlike ter, as shaking the heavens, has been adscenes. Hence Longinus bestows such mired in all ages, as highly sublime." high and just commendations on that pas Literally translated, it is as follows: “He sage, in the 15th book of the Iliad, where spoke, and bending his sable brows, gave Neptune, when preparing to issue forth the awful nod; while he shook the celesinto the engagement, is described as shak-tial locks of his iminortal head, all Olyming the mountains with his steps, and pus was shaken.". Mr. Pope, in the subdriving his chariot along the ocean. Mi- joined translation, spreads out the image, nerva, arming herself for fight in the 5th and attempts to beautify it; but, in reality, book; and Apollo, in the 15th, leading on weakens it. the Trojans, and flashing terror with his He spoke; and awful bends his sable brows. ægis on the face of the Greeks, are similar

Shakes his ambrosial curls, and gives the nod,

The stamp of fate, and sanction of a god. instances of great sublimity added to the

High heaven with trembling the dread signal description of battles, by the appearances

took, of those celestial beings. In the 20th

And all Olympus to its centre shook." book, where all the gods take part in the

Blank verse, by its boldness, freedom, engagement, according as they severally

and variety, is much more favourable than favour either the Grecians or the Trojans,

rhyme to all kinds of sublime poetry. the poet's genius is signally displayed, and

Milton, whose genius led him eminently the description rises into the most awful

to the sublime, has fully proved this asser: magnificence. All nature is represented

tion. The whole first and second books of as in commotion : Jupiter thunders in the

Paradise Lost are continued instances of it. heavens ; Neptune strikes the earth with

As an example, we may cite the following his trident; the ships, the city, and the

description of Satan, after his fall, appear mountains shake; the earth trembles to its

ing at the head of the infernal hosts :centre; Pluto starts from his throne, in

He, above the rest,

In shape and gesture proudly eminent, dread lest the secrets of the infernal regions Stood like a tower : his form had not yet lost

All her original brightness, nor appeared should be laid open to the view of mor

Less than archangel ruined ; and the excess tals."

of glory obscured : as when the sun, new-risen," The works of Ossian also abound with Looks through the horizontal misty air,

Shorn of his beams; or, from behind the mod instances of the sublime. From the vari

In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds

On half the nations, and with fear of change is justified in maintaining, that simplicity,

Perplexes monarchs. Darken'd so, yet shone

| Above them all th' archangel.” as opposed to studied and profuse orna

Besides conciseness and simplicity, ment, and conciseness, as opposed to

strength is another essential requisite of superfluous expression, are essential to sub

sublime writing. The strength of descriplime writing : and our author states the

tion arises, in a great measure, from a reason why a defect in either of these qua

simple conciseness; and it also supposes lities is peculiarly hurtful to the sublime.

| a proper choice of circumstances in the The emotion, he says, that is occasioned

description, so as to exhibit the object in in the mind by some great or noble object,

its full and most striking point of view, raises it considerably above its ordinary

A storm, or tempest, is a sublime object in pitch, and produces a sort of enthusiasm,

nature, but to render it sublime in descripwhich is very agreeable 'while it lasts, but

tion, it must be painted with such cirfrom which the mind is tending every

ery cumstances as fill the mind with great and moment to fall down into its ordinary situ

awful ideas; as Virgil has done in the folation. When an author has brought us,

us; lowing passage (Georg. I.), which we give or is attempting to bring us, into tms stace; l in Dryden's translation : if he multiply words unnecessarily, if he

“The father of the gods bis glory shrouds, deck the sublime object, which he pre Involved in tempests, and a night of clouds; sents to us, round and round with glitter

And from the middle darkness flashing out,

By fits he deals bis fiery bolts about, ing ornaments; nay, if he throw in any

Earth feels the motions of her angry god, one decoration that sinks in the least below Her entrails tremble, and her mountains nod,

And flying beasts in forests seek abode. the capital image, that moment he alters

Deep horror seizes every human breast; the key ; he' relaxes the tension of the Their pride is humbled, and their fears confest: * mind; the strength of the feeling is emas

While he, from high, bis rolling thunders throws,

And tires the mountains with repeated blows; culated; the beautiful may remain, but the

The rocky are from their old foundations ren sublime is gone. Hence, our author con The winds redouble, and the rains augment." cludes that rhyme, in English verse, is Every circumstance, says Blair, 'in this unfavourable to the sublime, if not incon- noble description, is the production of an; sistent with it. But

imagination heated and astonished with the " Homer's description of the nod of Jupi- grandeur of the object. The proper choice:

OUS e

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oficircumstances in a sublime description -703 & peu ?o ghalwe dailymo996-01, Kas such a foundation in nature, that the 124 SCIENTIFIC STUDY BECOMMENDED 991 least deviation from it is i fatal. This is In the present period, when science has owing to the nature of the emotion aimed become familiar to alt classes hoftithe scom at by sublime description, which admits munity, through the media Tofworksioa's of no mediocrity, and cannot subsist in a remarkable for their cheapness, as they are middle state, but must either highly trans- | valuable for the materials theyu contain, port us, or, if unsuccessful in the execution, ignorance is nearly banished from society. leave us greatly disgusted and displeased. But, among such accumulated stores. oof Thus, when Milton, in his battle of the miscellaneous information, it becomes tap angels, describes them as tearing up the object of some importance to the inquiring mountains, and throwing them at one mind, where to commence, and how to another; there are, in his description, as pursue the study of those sciences, that are Mr. Addison has observed, no circum- now laid open to the view, even in their stances that are not properly sublime. elementary principles ; and to the attain. "From their foundations loos'ning to and fro,', ment of which, nothing appears to be res They plucked the sealed hills, with all their load, Rocks, waters, woods; and by the shaggy tops

quired but an attentive perusał of the works Uplifting, bore them in their bands."

in question... ! Sil.60124dI OM) If it be inquired, what are the proper Difficulties, however, new and formi sources of the sublime? the answer is, that dable, present themselves to the student they are to be looked for every where in at every step; and one of the first and nature. It is not by hunting after tropes, most obvious of these is, the connexion and figures, and rhetorical assistances, that and dependence of the several sciences we can expect to produce it. It must upon each other, and the necessity of at come 'unsought, if it come at all; and be least an elementary knowledge of many, the natural offspring of a strong imagi- before a perfect acquaintance can be nation. in NY

formed with one. Thus chemistry connects 31 In judging of any striking beauty in itself with geology and mineralogy; and composition, whether it is, or is not, to be medicine essentially and partially with referred to this class, we must attend to anatomy, physiology, and suryery, which the nature of the emotion 'which it raises ; are again essentially connected with me and only, if it be of that elevating, solemn, chanics, hydraulics, and hydrostaties: and awful' kind, which distinguishes this while a knowledge of geometry and mafeeling, we can pronounce it sublime. thematics is found of considerable - utility Hence it follows, that it is an emotion in all cases, and in some is essential to which can never be long protracted. The solve phenomena which would be inexutmost we can expect is, that this fire of plicable without their assistance. To these imagination should sometimes flash"upon may be added, a knowledge of the Greek us like lightning from heaven, and then and Latin, to acquire à competent jac. disappear. In Homer and Milton, this quaintance with the fall force and meanSeffulgence of genius 'breaks forth more fre- ing of the phraseology of science -w206 of

quently, and with greater lustre, than in " Such is the general view of this extenmost authors.' Shakspeare also rises often sive and intricate field of investigation, and into the true sublime. But no author is such are the difficulties that present them. Sublime throughout. * In a limited serise, selves on the very threshold of inquiry. However, there are some who merit thé My intention, in the present short essay, name of continued sublime writers; and in is, to take a glance at the bearings of the this class we may justly place Demos- several sciences on each other, and u point thenes and Plato. In all good writing, out, às briefly and clearly as I can, the the sablime lies in the thought, not in the requisite knowledge of each, to promote words; and when the thought is truly the study of the other, and in what mannoble, it will, for the most part, clothe ner à course of reading may be pursued itself in a native dignity of language. * to facilitate general information..n ermit 7 The main secret of being sublime is to · As the field laid open, embraces the say great things in few and plain words. great' book of nature in all its various The most sublime authors are the simplest divisions and subdivisions, a general view in their style, ? If a writer affect a more of animated nature appears to be the first than ordinary pomp and parade of words, object, and from thence the student smay and endeavours to magnify his subject by properly descend into botany, geology, and

epithets, you may immediately suspect, mineralogy, but not precis voltı wthat, feeble in sentiment, he is studying to a 11. Animated Nature. This department

support himself by mere expression. J'comprehends zoology in all its branches.

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