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every species, the opposite to this, the dwarfish and diminutive, ought to be considered. Littleness, merely as such, has nothing contrary to the idea of beauty. The humming bird, both in shape and coloring, yields to none of the winged species, of which it is the least; and perhaps his beauty is enhanced by his smallness. But there are animals which, when they are extremely small, are rarely (if ever) beautiful. There is a dwarfish size of men and women which is almost constantly so gross and massive in comparison of their height that they present us with a very disagreeable image. But should a man be found not above two or three feet high, supposing such a person to have all the parts of his body of a delicacy suitable to such a size, and otherwise endued with the common qualities of other beautiful bodies, I am pretty well convinced that a person of such a stature might be considered as beautiful; might be the object of love; might give us very pleasing ideas on viewing him. The only thing which could possibly interpose to check our pleasure is that such creatures, however formed, are unusual, and are often therefore considered as something monstrous. The large and gigantic, though very compatible with the sublime, is contrary to the beautiful. It is impossible to suppose a giant the object of love. When we let our imagination loose in romance, the ideas we naturally annex to that size are those of tyranny, cruelty, injustice, and everything horrid and abominable. We paint the giant ravaging the country, plundering the innocent traveler, and afterwards gorged with his half-living flesh; such are Polyphemus, Cacus, and others, who make so great a figure in romances and heroic poems. The event we attend to with the greatest satisfaction is their defeat and death. I do not remember, in all that multitude of deaths with which the “Iliad” is filled, that the fall of any man, remarkable for his great stature and strength, touches us with pity; nor does it appear that the author, so well read in human nature, ever intended it should. It is Simoisius, in the soft bloom of youth, torn from his parents, who tremble for a courage so ill suited to his strength; it is another, hurried by war from the new embraces of his bride, young and fair, and a novice to the field, who melts us by his untimely fate. Achilles, in spite of the many qualities of beauty which Homer has bestowed on his outward form, and the many great virtues with which he has adorned his mind, can never make us love him. It may be observed that Homer has given the Trojans, whose fate he has designed to excite our compassion, infinitely more of the amiable, social virtues than he has distributed among his Greeks. With regard to the Trojans, the passion he chooses to raise is pity; pity is a passion founded on love; and these lesser, and if I may say domestic, virtues are certainly the most amiable. But he has made the Greeks far their superiors in the politic and military virtues. The councils of Priam are weak; the arms of Hector comparatively feeble; his courage far below that of Achilles. Yet we love Priam more than Agamemnon, and Hector more than his conqueror Achilles. Admiration is the passion which Homer would excite in favor of the Greeks, and he has done it by bestowing on them the virtues which have but little to do with love. This short digression is perhaps not wholly beside our purpose, where our business is to show that objects of great dimensions are incompatible with beauty, the more incompatible as they are greater; whereas the small, if ever they fail of beauty, this fail. ure is not to be attributed to their size.
With regard to color, the disquisition is almost infinite; but I conceive the principles laid down in the beginning of this part are sufficient to account for the effects of them all, as well as for the agreeable effects of transparent bodies, whether fluid or solid. Suppose I look at a bottle of muddy liquor, of a blue or red color; the blue or red rays cannot pass clearly to the eye, but are suddenly and unequally stopped by the intervention of little opaque bodies, which without preparation change the idea, and change it too into one disagreeable in its own nature, conformably to the principles laid down in Section XXIV. But when the ray passes without such opposition through the glass or liquor, when the glass or liquor is quite transparent, the light is sometimes softened in the passage, which makes it more agreeable even as light; and the liquor reflecting all the rays of its proper color evenly, it has such an effect on the eye as smooth, opaque bodies have on the eye and touch. So that the pleasure here is compounded of the softness of the transmitted, and the evenness of the reflected light. This pleasure may be heightened by the common principles in other things, if the shape of the glass which holds the transparent liquor be so judiciously varied as to present the color gradually and interchangeably, weakened and strengthened with all the variety which judgment in affairs of this nature shall suggest. On a review of all that has been said of the effects as well as the causes of both, it will appear that the sublime and beautiful are built on principles very different, and that their affections are as different: the great has terror for its basis, which, when it is modified, causes that emotion in the mind which I have called astonishment; the beautiful is founded on mere positive pleasure, and excites in the soul that feeling which is called love. Their causes have made the subject of this fourth part.
Part IV. of the Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of
Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful.» Complete.
JEAN JACQUES BURLAMAQUI
URLAMAQUI'S «The Principles of Natural Right » appeared in
1747. Few essays have done more to influence the thought el of those whose intellectual training makes them most influential. It was at once translated into English and other languages, and long used as a text-book. «The Principles of Political Right” appeared ten years later.
Burlamaqui was born at Geneva, Switzerland, June 24th, 1694. Educated in the University of Geneva, he spent the greater part of his life as a professor of Natural Law and Ethics in his alma mater. His useful and uneventful life closed at Geneva, April 3d, 1748.
THE PRINCIPLES OF NATURAL RIGHT
D ight is frequently taken from a personal quality, for a power N of acting or faculty. It is thus we say that every man has
a right to attend to his own preservation; that a parent has a right to bring up his children; that a sovereign has a right to levy troops for the defense of the state, etc.
In this sense we must define right as a power that man has to make use of his liberty and strength in a particular manner, either in regard to himself, or in respect to other men, so far as this exercise of his strength and liberty is approved by reason.
Thus when we say that a father has a right to bring up his children, all that is meant thereby is that reason allows a father to make use of his liberty and natural force in a manner suitable to the preservation of his children, and proper to cultivate their understandings, and to train them up in the principles of virtue. In like manner, as reason gives its approbation to the sovereign in whatever is necessary for the preservation and welfare of the state, it particularly authorizes him to raise troops and bring armies into the field, in order to oppose an enemy; and in consequence hereof we say he has a right to do it. But, on the contrary, we affirm that a prince has no right, without a par. ticular necessity, to drag the peasant from the plow, or to force poor tradesmen from their families; that a father has no right to expose his children or to put them to death, etc., because these things, far from being approved, are expressly condemned by reason.
We must not, therefore, confound simple power with right. A simple power is a physical quality; it is a power of acting in the full extent of our natural strength and liberty; but the idea of right is more confined. This includes a relation of agreeableness to a rule, which modifies the physical power and directs its operations in a manner proper to conduct man to a certain end. It is for this reason we say that right is a moral quality. It is true there are some who rank power as well as right among the number of moral qualities; but there is nothing in this essentially opposite to our distinction. Those who rank these two ideas among moral entities understand by power pretty near the same thing as we understand by right; and custom seems to authorize this confusion; for we equally use, for instance, paternal power and paternal right, etc. Be this as it will, we are not to dispute about words. The main point is to distinguish between physical and moral; and it seems that the word right, as Puffendorf himself insinuates, is fitter of itself than power to express the moral idea. In short, the use of our faculties becomes a right only so far as it is approved by reason, and is found agreeable to this primitive rule of human actions. And whatever a man can reasonably perform becomes in regard to him a right, because reason is the only means that can conduct him in a short and sure manner to the end he proposes. There is nothing, therefore, arbitrary in these ideas; they are borrowed from the very nature of things, and, if we compare them with the foregoing principles, we shall find they flow from them as necessary consequences.
If any one should afterwards inquire on what foundation it is that reason approves a particular exercise of our strength and liberty, in preference to another, the answer is obvious. The difference of those judgments arises from the very nature of things and their effects. Every exercise of our faculties that tends of itself to the perfection and happiness of man meets with the approbation of reason, which condemns whatever leads to a contrary end.