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organs all admirably adapted to the propagation of the plant. When we are made cognizant of this, we obtain, indeed, an additional gratification, but one wholly different from that which we experience in the contemplation of the flower itself, apart from all consideration of its adaptations."
At the close of the article to which we have alluded, we find the following judicious summary, viz., "There would seem, on the whole, to be a tendency at present towards an amalgamation of what have hitherto been considered irreconcilable doctrines -towards the belief that there is an essential beauty in the harmony of forms, and in the combination of colours, and that the keen delight which we experience in beholding them is incapable of being explained by any number of associations; while it is admitted, on the other hand, that many things are made beautiful by association, that all things have their beauty enriched by it, and that some things even have their intrinsic beauty called forth by it, operating in the form of suggestion."
Mr. Ruskin, in his Lectures on Architecture and Painting, says, "I may state what I believe to be the truth,—that beauty has been appointed by the Deity to be one of the elements by which the human soul is continually sustained."*
* Page 26.
THE POWER OF ASSOCIATION.
THE imagination, like the prism, divides what passes through it into rich rainbow-colours. Men of sensibility and taste are conscious of many thoughts passing with rapidity in the imagination beyond what the scene immediately before them suggests: for example, Wordsworth, the poet of the lakes, standing on the banks of the Wye three miles from Tintern Abbey, and recalling an earlier visit and earlier associations, says,
And now with gleams of half-extinguished thought,
And somewhat of a sad perplexity,
The picture of the mind revives again,
While here I stand, not only with the sense
Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts,
For future years."*
"A flying spark," may fire a long train of brilliant associations. It is not the crumbling colosseum, or flowing Tiber which stirs the soul of a traveller as he catches the first glimpse of Rome; but the thought that he is in the country of Cæsar, Cicero, and Virgil. The grandeur of ancient Rome fills his imagination.
A similar thought has been sweetly expressed by *Lines on Tintern Abbey.
Dr. McCosh. He supposes a man much engaged in business at length securing a quiet day to revisit the scenes of his childhood. The house in which he was reared, the room in which he slept, the field. in which he played, the garden or glen in which he gathered flowers, this gnarled oak and that sequestered dell, have an attraction to him which they have to no other; and this attraction arises from the recollection of scenes which seemed to be for ever Jost, but which were vastly interesting at the time, as they are still interesting in the gushing memory of them as they well up from the mind as waters from a fountain. Events which were regarded as absolutely dead are made to spring up in vivid reality; and they come with intense power to move the soul to mirth or melancholy."
"There are," says Dr. Enoch Mellor, "thousands of cabinets within us, all full of what is past; and they require but the springs which fasten them to be touched by some trifling event, such as the sight of a letter, or a friend, or a tree, or a rippling stream, and, lo! they fly open at once, and show us what for years has lain there in unsuspected security."
A touching illustration of this law of association is furnished in the life of the First Napoleon. On the eve of one of his great battles, he wandered forth from the encampment to meditate on the probabilities of the coming conflict. The vesper bells were ringing in a distant village, the shadowy twilight was coming on apace; the man of destiny was seen to weep. Sire," said his companion, "why do you weep?" "I weep," he replied,
"because yon vesper bell recalls my early days and makes me feel again a child."
This law of emotion by simple suggestion, was well known and its working admirably depicted by Homer. The venerable Priam, king of Troy, in deep and heavy grief, seeks the dwelling of Achilles, who had slain his son Hector in battle: he goes to beg the body of his dead son, and touchingly appeals to the victor by tender allusions to the past. "Then thou, Achilles, reverence the gods;
And, for thy father's sake, look pitying down
His warrior son; Achilles for his sire
And for Patroclus wept, his comrades dear;
And through the house their weeping loud was heard."*
Indeed, we have all painfully known affecting memories re-awakened by associations. How often a walk over the hills and through the heather, giving sight of an old church tower in the valley below, with the village green, the clustering cottages, the wooded dingle and the old water-wheel covered with red-moss, have brought back to a citydweller memories of his early rural home. Thus have we seen again the little garden and the nut-trees, the arm-chair by the ingle and the dear old man sitting in it; we have seemed to gaze once more on the * Earl Derby's Translation of the Iliad.
silver hair of our precious mother, and to hear her gentle voice, and we have recalled the form of our fair sister who was taken away from amid the mayblossoms. By such thoughts the fountain of our tenderness is stirred to its very depths. Thus the past ministers to the present, and the present shall minister to the future.
The degree of appreciation of beauty depends very much on the state of our health and the sorrows of our heart. When we weep for the dead, then "the daughters of music are low," the soul's harp is unstrung, and the imagination restrained; but, generally speaking, it is our privilege to realize a pure and elevated pleasure from the objects of beauty and sublimity around us. The lovely dell, where Solitude has a temple vocal with the crystal brooklet and the peerless notes of the nightingale, as the moon-beams silver the foliage and sleep on the trilling waters; the grand old mountains and towering cliffs, crimsoned at eventide with roseate glory, are the poems of nature, as they are her gems and monuments-they are episodes of beauty and grandeur amid the ordinary utilities of life. Mountains are emblems of human genius, as it rises above the common levels of society, and ascends, like cloud-capp'd summits, into the very solitudes of heaven.
Valleys are emblems of the lowly modesty of true deep science; for the grandest men bow lowliest in reverence before the Eternal Lord.
This thought and feeling have been finely expressed by a gifted young man whose genius rose