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about the power of the artist who did it. When we compare the expression in subjects which so fairly admit of comparison, and find the superiority so clearly to remain with Hogarth, shall the mere contemptible difference of the scene of it being laid, in the one case in our Fleet or King's Bench Prison, and in the other in the State Prison of Pisa, or the bed-room of a cardinal -or that the subject of the one has never been authenticated, and the other is matter of history--so weigh down the real points of the comparison, as to induce us to rank the artist who has chosen the one scene or subject (though confessedly inferior in that which constitutes the soul of his art) in a class from which we exclude the better genius (who has happened to make choice of the other) with something like disgrace?
DUGALD STEWART. (DUGALD STEWART, one of the most celebrated of the metaphysicians who belong to what is known as the Scotch school, was born at Edinburgh in 1753-—died in 1828. The following extract is from his “ Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind;" and it affords a fair specimen of the elegance of his style and the variety of his illustrations. Highly popular as Stewart was during the greater part of a long career as a professor and a writer, he is now regarded as wanting depth and originality in his philosophical vocation. His “ Elements," his " Philosophical Essays," and his “Preliminary Dissertation" in the “Encyclopædia Britannica,” will amply repay the trouble of perusal, especially to that class of readers who do not approach the study of the human mind as severe and determined students.]
In ranking imitation among the original principles or ultimate facts in our constitution, it is, I presume, scarcely necessary for me to observe, that I do not use that term exactly in the popular sense in which it is commonly understood. I do not suppose, for example, that it is in consequence of any instinctive or mysterious process that a painter or an author forms his taste, in painting or in writing, on the models exhibited by his predecessors; for all this may obviously be resolved, in the niost satisfactory manner, into more simple and general laws. The imitation of which I am here to treat, and which I have distinguished by the title of sympathetic, is that chiefly which depends on the mimical powers connected with our bodily frame, and which, in certain combinations of circumstances, seems to result, with little intervention of our will, from a sympathy between the bodily organizations of different individuals. Of various particulars connected with this class of phenomena, philosophy, I suspect, will never be able to give a complete explanation.
In general, it may be remarked, that whenever we see, in the countenance of another individual, any sudden change of features, more especially such a change as is expressive of any particular passion or emotion, our own countenance has a tendency to assimilate itself to his. Every man is sensible of this when he looks at a person under the influence of laughter, or in deep melancholy. Something too of the same kind takes place in that spasm of the muscles of the jaw which we experience in yawning; an action which is well known to be frequently excited by the contagious power of example. Even when we conceive in solitude the external expression of any passion, the effect of the conception is visible in our own appearance. This is a fact of which every person must be conscious who attends, in his own case, to the result of the experiment; and it is a circumstance which has been often remarked with respect to historical painters, when in the act of transferring to the canvas the glowing picture of a creative imagination.
If this general fact be admitted, it will enable us to account for a phenomenon which, although overlooked by most men from its familiarity, cannot fail to suggest an interesting subject of speculation to those who reflect on the circumstances with due attention. What I allude to is, that a mimic, without consulting a mirror, knows, by a sort of consciousness or internal feeling, the moment en he has hit upon the resemblance he wishes to exhibit. This phenomenon (which has always appeared to me an extremely curious and important one) seems to be altogether inexplicable, unless we suppose that, when the muscles of the mimic's face are so modified as to produce the desired combinalion of features, he is conscious, in some degree, of the same feeling or sensation which he had when he first became acquainted with the original appearance which he has been attempting to copy.
Nor is it the visible appearance alone of others that we have a disposition to imitate. We copy instinctively the voices of our companions, their tones, their accents, and their modes of pro nunciation. Hence that general similarity in point of air and manner, observable in all who associate habitually together, and which every man acquires in a greater or less degree; a similarity unheeded, perhaps, by those who witness it daily, and whose attention, accordingly, is more forcibly called to the nicer shades by which individuals are discriminated from each other, but which catches the eye of every stranger with incomparably greater force than the specific peculiarities which, to a closer observer, mark the endless varieties of human character.
The influence of this principle of imitation on the outward appearance is much more extensive than we are commonly disposed to suspect. It operates, indeed, chiefly on the air and movements, without producing any very striking effect on the material form in its quiescent state. So difficult, however, is it to abstract this form from its habitual accompaniments, that the members of the same community, by being accustomed to associate from their infancy in the intercourse of private life, appear, to a careless observer, to bear a much closer resemblance to each other than they do in reality; while, on the other hand, the physical diversities which are characteristical of different nations are, in his estimation, proportionally magnified.
The important effects of the same principle, when considered in relation to our moral constitution, will afterwards appear. At present I shall only remark, that the reflection which Shakspere puts into the mouth of Falstaff, with respect to the manners of Justice Shallow and his attendants, and which Sir John expresses with all the precision of a philosophical observer and all the dig. nity of a moralist, may be extended to the most serious concerns of human life. “ It is a wonderful thing to see the semblable coherence of his men's spirits and his: they, by observing of him, do bear themselves like foolish justices; he, by conversing with them, is turned into a justice-like serving-man. Their spirits are 80 married in conjunction with the participation of society, that they flock together in concert, like so many wild geese. It is certain that either wise bearing or ignorant carriage is caught, as men take diseases, one of another ; therefore let men take heed to their company."
Of this principle of our nature Count Rumford appears to have availed himself, with much address, in his House of Industry at Munich. “In order to inspire the rising generation with an early bias towards labor, he invited parents to send their children to the establishment before they were old enough to do any kind of work, and actually paid them for doing nothing, but merely being present when others were busy around them. These children (he tells us) were placed upon seats built around the halls where other children worked, while they were obliged to remain idle spectators; and in this situation they soon became
uneasy at their own inactivity, that they frequently solicited with great importunity to be employed, and often cried bitterly if this favor was not instantly granted.” A variety of motives, it is true, were in all probability here concerned; but much, I think, must be ascribed to sympathy and to imitation.
It is in consequence of this imitative propensity that children learn insensibly to model their habits on the appearance and manners of those with whom they are familiarly conversant. It is thus too that, with little or no aid on the part of their instructors, they acquire the use of speech, and form their pliable organs to the articulation of whatever sounds they are accustomed to hear.
As we advance to maturity, the propensity to imitation grows weaker, our improving faculties gradually diverting our attention from the models around us to ideal standards more conformable to our own taste; whilst at the same time, in consequence of some physical change in the body, that flexibility of the muscular system, by which this propensity is enabled to accomplish its end, is impaired or lost. The same combination of letters which a child of three or four years of age utters without any apparent effort, would twenty years afterwards present to him a difficulty not to be surmounted by the most persevering industry. A similar inflexibility, it may be reasonably presumed from analogy, is acquired by those muscles on which depend the imitative powers of the face and of all the other parts of our material frame..
If this observation be well founded, it is by no means a fair experiment to attempt the education of a savage child of seven or eight years old, with the view of ascertaining how far it is possible to assimilate bis air and manner to those of a polished European or Anglo-American. Long before this age many of his most important habits are fixed, and much is lost of that mobility of his system by which the principle of imitation operates. Such an individual, therefore, will retain through life that characteristical expression of the savage state, which is so apt to shock our feelings at the supposition of his common origin with ourselves. Nor is this all. Such an individual will, through life, find him. self out of his element in a society of which he can so imperfectly acquire the manners; and if, by accident, in maturer years, he should visit the scenes to which he was accustomed in early infancy, it is not improbable that he may willingly reassume habits of which he has lost the recollection, but which are to him a second nature, by being coëval with his existence.
In speculations concerning the varieties of the human race, too little attention has been, in general, bestowed on the influence exercised by the mind over the external expression. In consequence of this influence, it will be found that no inconsiderable diversities, in the form and aspect of man, arise from the different degrees of cultivation which his intellectual and moral powers receive in the different stages of society.
The savage, having neither occasion nor inclination to exert his intellectual faculties, excepting to remove the present inconveniences of his situation or to procure the objects which minister to his necessities, spends the greater part of his time in a state of stupid and thoughtless repose. It is impossible, therefore, that his features should acquire that spirit, and that mobility, which indicate an informed and an active mind. Supposing two individuals to possess originally the same physical form—to be cast, if I may use the expression, in the same mould—and the one to be educated from infancy in the habits of savage life, while the other has been trained to the manners of cultivated society. I have no doubt but that, abstracting entirely from the influence of climate and of other physical circumstances, their countenances would, in time, exhibit a very striking contrast. Nothing, indeed, can place this