|Edmund Burke (17291797). On the Sublime and Beautiful.|
The Harvard Classics. 190914.
|The Cries of Animals|
|SUCH sounds as imitate the natural inarticulate voices of men, or any animals in pain or danger, are capable of conveying great ideas; unless it be the well-known voice of some creature, on which we are used to look with contempt. The angry tones of wild beasts are equally capable of causing a great and awful sensation.|
It might seem that these modulations of sound carry some connexion with the nature of the things they represent, and are not merely arbitrary; because the natural cries of all animals, even of those animals with whom we have not been acquainted, never fail to make themselves sufficiently understood; this cannot be said of language. The modifications of sound, which may be productive of the sublime, are almost infinite. Those I have mentioned are only a few instances to show on what principles they are all built.
| ||Hinc exaudiri gemitus iræque leonum|
|Vincla recusantum, et sera sub nocte rudentum;|
|Setigerique sues, atque in præsepibus ursi|
|Sævire; et formæ magnorum ululare luporum.|| 1|