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The politics of sentiment: notes toward a new account.

IT HAS LONG STRUCK ME AS PECULIAR THAT RAYMOND WILLIAMS, OUR great political philologist of British culture and society in the longue duree, did not include "sentiment" or "sentimental" in his encyclopedia of keywords. This omission becomes especially odd when you consider that one of the conceptual payoffs of his critical project was the notion of "structures of feeling." (1) Traditional philological work on the emergence of the term sentimental traces it to the late 1740S. There is no doubt, however, that from the 1750S the word "sentimental" was routinely associated with a new way of producing narrative, nor that by 1768, when Sterne coined a new phrase for A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy, this massively influential work, together with the book to which it was a sequel, established the term and the mode on a lasting footing. Jean-Claude Gorjy's Sternean effort, Le Nouveau voyage sentimental (1784) was just one of many books so titled in France. One measure of the novelty of the term sentimental in 1768, however, is that when a German writer attempted to translate it into German, he had to coin a new word in German--empfindsam--to capture the English neologism. This philology has been pretty well worked out by a number of scholars. (2) There has been some attention paid to the implications of the emergence of the sentimental in literary and dramatic contexts for issues of what might be called "probability," the Aristotelian question of how to understand cause and effect in the rendering of a world. (3) But again, what has been less thoroughly worked out is the political dimension of this new or newly recognized mode, though there have been some promising efforts. (4)

For example, the question is taken up in one of the most carefully argued and persuasively detailed books on Romanticism and politics in recent years--John Barrell's Imagining the King's Death--which opens with an account of the role played by what Barrell calls "the language of sentiment" in shaping responses to the upheavals of the mid-1790s. (5) For Barrell, this language was a primary medium in which scenes from the 1793 execution of Louis xvI, especially the final interview with his family, were represented in Britain. It was a medium, Barrel] stresses, with effects all its own, effects that turn out to be "hard to control," and in ways that prove crucial to his argument. His subject is the unfolding of the notorious treason trials in 1794-95, when Thomas Hardy, John Horne Tooke, John Thelwall and Thomas Holcroft were accused of violating a medieval statute of 1351 that made it a capital offense to "imagine the King's death." Barrell shows how the sentimentally enhanced capacity of the English to imagine the actual death of the deceased French king made it easier for them to imagine the possible death of their own king, George the Third, and thus to accuse others of doing so treasonously.

Perhaps the central player in Barrell's brilliantly recounted narrative is Edmund Burke, who had, a month before the French regicide, already warned his colleagues in the House of Commons that agents were at large in Britain who might "perhaps be commissioned" to murder the British royal family with daggers purpose-made in Birmingham (where Priestley had recently been burned out). Burke punctuated his remarks, as registered in the Parliamentary History and several contemporary caricatures, by producing a dagger from his own coat and hurling it down on the floor of the house. "Of all loyalists," writes Barrell, Burke "was the fondest of the extreme rhetorical effects which could be achieved by inviting his audience in parliament, and his readers outside, to join him in the thrills, the terror, the tears provoked by imagining the king's death" (87). Burke was mobilizing rhetorical resources he had notoriously developed in his Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), which ignited the great British controversy over the French Revolution. Yet what Barrell calls the language of sentiment is far bigger than Burke and involves far more complicated issues than the rhetorical provocation of thrills, terrors and tears. Indeed, it has a long and tangled history, as Barrell is well aware, though he does not himself attempt to trace it in any detail, since he has other aims in view, a compelling twofold argument that modern understandings of the imagination had altered the meaning of the 1351 statute--its sense and applicability--and that the treason trials in their turn politicized the meaning of "imagination" for the Romantic period.

But should we assume that Barrell's "sentiment" is straightforwardly continuous with the discourse of the sentimental that takes shape in England over the course of the eighteenth century? Tears, yes, but thrills and terrors? For any accurate account of the politics of sentiment in the Romantic period, it may be more important than we normally assume to attempt some disentanglement of the then-recent sentimental mode from the just-emerging melodramatic mode. The latter was shaped decisively by such developments as the Gothic novel and the theater of Sturm und Drang (precisely the new cultural forms that Wordsworth would deplore a few years later in the Preface to Lyrical Ballads). Burke's mobilization of the sublime in mounting his response to the French Revolution may also have played some part in the emergence of the genre. The ideological registers of melodrama are not easily settled. Indeed, one of the men accused in the 1794 treason trials--Thomas Holcroft--is to be credited with having established both the term and the genre in Britain. It was Holcroft who imported the word into English for his 1802 translation, without acknowledgment, of Guilbert de Pixerecourt's Coeline (1800), which Holcroft re-titled A Tale of Mystery: A Melo-drame. The fact that one of the radical victim-heroes of the treason trials became an exponent of the melodramatic mode only begins to suggest the political complications of this affective form in the Revolutionary period. (6)

My aim here is not to undertake an account of the subsequent development of the melodramatic mode, though that development matters to a larger story I am in other contexts concerned to tell about the history of the sentimental from the eighteenth century through Dickens and into early cinema. In keeping with the notion that our essays are meant to put Romanticism in the perspective of the long eighteenth century, I am rather going to try to address the complicated history of the sentimental before the compounding complications of melodrama. Though I gesture toward the complications, the account I sketch is by no means exhaustive; and though I simplify some of the political issues, the stoW is anything but straightforward.

In particular, in the first half of the paper, I will identify two strands of this longer history, each with an important touchstone in the intense 179396 period that is Barrell's focus. I will be suggesting some political contexts for each strand, but I will not be arguing out the political issues in any detail. The second half of the paper will focus on what may seem like an unlikely text for thinking about the politics of sentiment, Adam Smith's "Essay on the Imitative Arts," first published in 1795, and thus within Barrell's three-year micro-period. It was actually composed years earlier, however, and it was involved in earlier controversies, most notably in relation to Rousseau's strongly held views about music, emotion, and mimesis. This issue is nothing like as flamboyant--nor as explicitly political--as the theatrics of the regicide controversy narrated in Barrell's book. It does not involve thrills and terrors, nor even tears for the most part. But in looking at this apparently technical dispute about, as Smith puts it, the relationship of sound and sentiment, I will try to show how some political issues are nonetheless implicated there, and how we might begin to imagine an account of the sentimental that does justice to dialogues across the English Channel as well as to negotiations between the spheres of aesthetics and politics.


Let me turn first to Jonathan Israel's Radical Enlightenment, a volume that offers a very different prehistory of the politics of Romanticism. As it happens, my outline of the history of the sentimental runs a course parallel to the one that Israel charts for his Spinozist story. It happens, too, that two of the dates important to Israel's revisionist history are salient in the one I sketch. Thus 1750, for example, which is Israel's terminus for Radical Enlightenment, marks, as we have seen, rather precisely the moment when the term "sentimental" entered English, the moment just before it began to be used as a genre-signal in titles like "sentimental tale," "sentimental history," and in Sterne's patent and influential neologism, "sentimental journey."

The other date of signal importance in Israel's account is 1650, which is the date he assigns to the new philosophical revolution that radically changes the terms of discourse on religion from a controversy among the four major confessional constituencies into a debate about the very question of religious credulity itself. For related reasons, 1650 also turns out to be a key date for the history of the sentimental, because that intellectual-cultural formation, as scholars from R. S. Crane to Isabel RAvers have shown, begins to take shape in the response of the English Latitudinarians to precisely the sorts of developments that Israel is so concerned to date to 1650: the moment of the "new philosophy" and specifically the impact of Descartes and Hobbes, along with the first stirrings of Spinozism. (7) It is right around 1650 that Henry More began a series of"refutations" of those three philosophers on behalf of a compromise position that, as Israel categorizes it, would acknowledge some of the points made in the new materialist and mechanist thinking while preserving key Christian tenets--like the immortality of the soul--in revised form. This was a move with political implications, as Israel would himself insist, precisely because of the political implications of the radicalism it was meant to defuse.

Standing back from the longer history of the sentimental one might say that its two central issues--the question of sensibility and what might be called the sentimental as such--can be associated, respectively, with these two dates: 1650 and 1750. The former involves the new conceptual apparatus that More developed in his response to the emergent philosophical materialism. As early as the late 1640s, we find More's first mention of his new coinage "sensorium" in the OED. In his prose writings of the 1650s, More redescribed his theory of the sensorium in non-materialist terms as part of his refutation of Hobbes and others. More's concession to the new mechanistic materialism was the acknowledgment that, while the soul was distinct from the body, it was nonetheless housed or "carried" in a highly subtilized form of matter that registered perceptual vibration and effected locomotion. This subtilized body, the sensorium, he also called the soul's "vehicle," and he posited that this organ actually survived the death of the gross body.

This theory would be debated (and satirized) for a century and a half under the heading of"the vehicular hypothesis." Abraham Tucker devoted a hundred pages to "the Vehicular State" in a quirky tract much admired by William Hazlitt, The Light of Nature Pursued (1768). Joseph Priestley kept the issue in play with his chapter "Of the Vehicle of the Soul" in Disquisitions Relating to Matter and Spirit (1782). The mid-1790s moment for this strand of my story occurs in Mary Hays's Memoir of Emma Courtney (1796)--a rough transcription of letters between herself and William Godwin--in which, in a passage for which Hays supplies a footnote to Tucker, Emma writes to her would-be lover as follows: "I wish we were in the vehicular state, and that you understood the sentient language; you might then comprehend the whole of what I mean to express, but find too delicate for words." (8)

Still more important, at least for the literary history of the sentimental, the vehicular hypothesis set the condition for Sterne's creation of the subgenre of the sentimental journey. Though no modern commentator seems to have noticed, Sterne's invention features a long series of inside jokes about various kinds of vehicles, foregrounded early on when Yorick, well into his narrative but not his journey, steps into an unhitched chaise in a carriage yard in Calais to write his "Preface in a Desobligeant." Here he produces his taxonomy of travelers, in which he insists that "the sentimental traveler should not be distinguished only by the novelty of his vehicle." (9) These jokes resolve in conclusions like the one Yorick draws in his encounter with Maria of Moulines: "Now I know that I have a soul and all the books with which the materialists have pestered the world can never convince me to the contrary" (114). It is this declaration that leads Yorick almost directly into his famous paean: "Dear Sensibility! Great sensorium of the world!" (117). Dickens is just one of many heirs of this tradition, especially in his most explicitly political novel, A Tale of Two Cities, where we are initially introduced to the events of the French Revolution by a character pointedly named Mr. Lorry, redundantly riding in a vehicle. This is a novel in which the connecting work of the English mail coach, the divisive work of the Marquis' murderous coach, and the answering murderousness of the revolutionary tumbrels on the French side all carry out Dickens' sentimental allegory of the two political cultures. Though decisively shaped by melodrama, Dickens' fiction shows that the sentimental legacy has left its mark on him in telling ways: the explicit invocation of Sterne at the beginning of The Old Curiosity Shop, and the vehicular journeys of the soul in A Christmas Carol, to cite two. Further, A Christmas Carol makes explicit the sentimental-journey theme of materialism overcome when Scrooge famously tries to dismiss the Ghost of Marley, condemned to travel after death because he had not gone forth during his life, as a failure of his alimentary system: "'You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!'" (10)

The anti-materialism of latitudinarian vehicularity, then, is one important strand of the sentimental tradition that persists over the long Romantic period. The second strand of this history, the one tied to the emergence of the term sentimental itself in 1750, has to do with the apparatus of tropes and concepts that form around the problem of sympathetic reflection-what in sentimental cinema of the American "classical" period will be incarnated structurally as shot/reverse-shot procedures. It is the strand on which I wish to focus greater attention here, and to do so I will turn to Schiller's account in his essay, On Naive and Sentimental Poetry (1795). This essay, along with his almost exactly contemporary Letters on Aesthetic Education, together constitute his considered response to those same events in the early French Republic that concern Barrell in the English context. In turning to Schiller, furthermore, we are not turning away from Britain. First of all, Schiller's two great prose tracts would themselves have a major reception in Britain over the course of the Romantic period, partly through the disseminations of Coleridge. Coleridge was still plundering On Naive and Sentimental Poetry in his 1819 Lectures. (11) Further, Schiller was a writer with strong investments in British literary and philosophical traditions from the start of his career, a champion and emulator of Shakespeare, of course, and a thinker now acknowledged to have been deeply informed by the works of Shaftesbury, Hume, Hogarth, and Lord Kames. Schiller's interest in the moral sense tradition in British philosophy is becoming clearer to his commentators of late, especially since the publication of Frederick Beiser's rehabilitative Schiller as Philosopher. (12)

As for the political context, the connection between Schiller's two-fold project in aesthetics and the onset of terror in Paris is very close indeed. "Expectantly the gaze of the philosopher and the man of the world alike is fixed on the political scene," he writes in Letter Two, "where now, so it is believed, the very fate of mankind is being debated. Does it not betray culpable indifference to the common weal not to take part in this general debate?" (13) We know he declared his intention to write the Letters on Aesthetic Education on February 6, 1793, just two weeks after the regicide, and that he recorded his repugnance at these events at about the same time. Six months later, while outlining the political argument of the Letters for his patron, he observed that "[t]he [French Revolution] has plunged, not only that unhappy people, but a considerable part of Europe and a whole century, back into barbarism and slavery" (xvii). What Michael Bell recently called the "aestheticizing of sentiment" in the Letters thus emerges from a strongly marked political occasion. The project of the Letters is of a piece with its companion work of 1795, which, though ostensibly focused on questions of poetry, also addresses other larger issues by way of them. (14)

How does Schiller present this relatively modern mood or mode of the sentimental, the one he coupled with the "naive"? Crucially, he distinguishes the complex affect of the sentimental from the relative homogeneity of the naive mode. He argues that where the naive poet might produce a "diversity of impression," these impressions nonetheless depend "solely on the different degree of one and the same manner of feeling." (15) Not so with the sentimental poet, however, who inspires "mixed feeling," and who is always involved with "two conflicting images and feelings." Schiller's explanation for this duality, this sense of "mixture," has to do with the defining practice of the sentimental poet. Such a poet, he writes, "reflects [Schiller's emphasis] on the impression the objects make upon him and only on the basis of that reflection is the emotion founded, into which he is transported and into which he transports us" (204). The mixture of feeling, Schiller suggests, is a function of the reflexivity of the process. The translation is straightforward here. The German reads, "Dieser reflektirt uber den Eindruck...." (16) In this language of impression and reflection, I suggest, we can detect at least a strong residue of the "moral sense" school of British thought, for which latter group "sentimental" had indeed become another name by the mid-1790s. Hume is an especially key figure here because of his contribution to the theory of sentiments. As Annette Baler notes about Hume's Treatise in her A Progress of Sentiments, Humean sentiments are not "raw feels" but rather what Hume calls "impressions of reflection." (17) In the theory of ideas that Hume and Smith alike inherited from Frances Hutcheson, an impression (which is affective) leaves behind a (cognitive) trace or image of itself that Hume calls an idea (like the image of the candle that remains after the candle itself has been removed). These ideas can return to strike us again, in memory or imagination, to create second-order affective experience. The impression of reflection is Hume's term for this second-order phenomenon, so crucial to Hume's moral-sense analysis. Gilles Deleuze goes so far as to argue that subjectivity itself, in Hume, is nothing other than an impression of reflection. (18) The capacity to be reflexive--to reflect on one's sensations rather than simply being impressed by them--is a key to the developing theory of the moral sense philosophers. It constitutes what Christine Korsgaard calls the principle of "reflective endorsement" in the moral sense tradition. (19)

But this principle has a second guise as well, one available in Hume but more fully elaborated by Smith, in The Theory of Moral Sentiments. For Smith, the capacity to be reflective is a double-sided ability, cultivated in the daily life of commercial civil society, both to function as a sympathetic spectator for another person and to recognize that, as an agent, one performs before a social world of (likewise) potentially sympathetic spectators. Smith repeatedly insists, of course, that to sympathize with a person is not to feel what that person feels. It is to feel what it would be like to be that person. Smith says that our sympathy with other human beings occurs both instinctively and conditionally--instinctively, in that we just naturally flinch when, for example, we see our brother upon the rack, but conditionally in that we sympathize more readily with those better off than ourselves and less fully with those whose affective response to their own situation is out of line with our sense of what it calls for.

In developing Hume's account of sympathy, from within the framework of the Hutchesonian theory of ideas, Smith also attends to Hume's comments on the importance of the "general point of view," as Hume most often called it, or alternatively the "steady" or "common" point of view. On this basis he elaborates the now-familiar notion of the "impartial spectator," an internal principle of general perception that is able to counteract our egotism (as the weak spirit of benevolence cannot) because it carries the force of recognition, the sense of truly seeing ourselves, for example, in our own littleness within the world. If the impression of reflection was Hume's innovation in Britain's sentimental tradition, the impartial spectator was Smith's. Smith reinforces the revised notion of "reflection" in his account of the impartial spectator by his recurrence to the metaphor of the mirror: the face of the other, he says more than once, is the only mirror we have for seeing the beauty or deformity of our character. (20)

That Smith should put the question of sentimental reflection in terms of beauty and deformity is just one of many indications of the importance of aesthetics to Smith's moral and social theory, long before he turned his attention full-time to arts late in his career. It marks a feature, one of many, of what Charles Griswold has called Smith's "strikingly aesthetic view of the world," which he reasonably sees as anti-Platonist. (21) I think it is also safe to add, in light of Dennis Rasmussen's book of two years ago on Smith and Rousseau, that this is an aestheticized view that Smith developed over the course of a long and serious engagement with Rousseau's writings, beginning with the publication of Rousseau's Second Discourse in 1756, which Smith reviewed, urging more attention in Scotland to Rousseau's writings. (22) Readers of the transcriptions of his 1750s lectures on rhetoric and belles lettres will have found the seeds of Smith's "strikingly aesthetic view of the world" in his detailed attention to poetry and the arts. Friedrich Schiller could not have known these lectures, except by reputation, and probably did not know Smith's review of Rousseau, but it is impossible to imagine that he did not know and engage with Smith's two major treatises.

Moreover, Frederick Beiser has rightly argued that Schiller's aesthetic project in the mid-1790s must be read as an extended engagement with the arguments of Rousseau about politics and the arts. Rousseau had of course famously argued, in multiple venues, that the primitive state of society was largely benign and that the development of the arts contributed to its general corruption. Schiller's "physical state," by contrast, is closer to Hobbes's view of the state of nature as intolerable in its conditions, and Schiller proposes the "aesthetic state" as offering a way forward that Rousseau could not have urged. Schiller's aesthetic state leads us out of the physical to the moral state.

Beyond the non-controversial claim that Schiller has investments in sentimentalism, then, I wish to advance the further claim that Smith's work is a key part of Schiller's mid-90s frame of reference. There is some good internal evidence for this in the Poetry essay and in the Letters on Aesthetic Education. In addition to the argument about reflection, Schiller hews very closely at times to Smith's language of the impartial spectator: "Every individual human being, one may say, carries within him, potentially and prescriptively, an ideal man, the archetype of a human being, and it is his life's task to be, through all his changing manifestations, in harmony with the unchanging unity of this ideal" (Letters on Aesthetic Education 17). Moreover, Schiller expresses grave concern over the emergence of both the division of knowledge and the division of labor in modern society--issues about which Smith wrote at length, and very critically, in book five of The Wealth of Nations.

To this internal evidence we can add some external evidence. Not only was The Wealth of Nations translated immediately into German on its publication in 1776, and not only was this the first translation in Europe; it was Schiller's cousin, also named Johann Friedrich Schiller, who did the translation, and who claimed Smith for a friend. The Wealth of Nations also went through a second edition in three volumes, which was completed in 1792. As for The Theory of Moral Sentiments, it was first translated by Kames's German translator, in 1770. But the early 1790s saw a renewed German interest in this text. A second translation was issued in 1791 by L. T. Rautenberg, who issued a supplementary volume in 1795 containing additions Smith made to his own later editions, to which the translator added a review of Kant's philosophy. Kant himself, on reading the Moral Sentiments, was prompted to ask the question: where in Germany is the man who can write so well about the moral character?

As for the observation Schiller makes in On Naive and Sentimental Poetry on the principle of reflection as a basis of mixed feeling, it seems to me that it helps us understand the mutual links between Smith's Moral Sentiments and the sentimental novel--in Richardson before and in Sterne after, to name just two writers with major eighteenth-century reputations on the Continent. In the celebrated Maria of Moulines episode from Tristram Shandy, for example, the technical reversal of perspective between characters and along established lines of sight produces a kind of reflection that issues precisely in mixed feelings--what we recognize as that notorious Sternean lability of tone. Sterne was still very much a part of Schiller's mid90s world. In correspondence between Schiller and Goethe in 1797, Sterne's fiction, especially the Empfindsame Reisen, figures explicitly by name when they discuss Schiller's notion of the sentimental as worked out in the 1795 Poetry essay, a kind of follow up, writes Goethe, "to what you yourself developed so well [in writing about the sentimental] and what is a part of our vocabulary." (23)

Though both writers agree that there is a role for the sentimental in sound taste and sound politics--the sentimental in the good sense, as Schiller puts it--it is also true that Schiller's larger political investments push him toward a synthesis of the antinomies he develops. Whereas in the Letters on Aesthetic Education he distinguished the formal drive (Formtrieb) and the material drive (Stofftrieb) in order to make the case for the play drive (Spieltrieb), so in the Poetry essay he pushes toward a kind of sensibility that will overcome the distinction between the naive and sentimental. This point can stand as an acknowledgment that not even "the sentimental in the good sense" is to be accepted as a way forward in Schiller's political world, and certainly the moral sense school exemplified in the writings of Smith, where it is invoked by Schiller, is being modified. When Schiller speaks of the ideal man within, or internal archetype [einen reinen idealischen Menschen], in terms that in certain respects recall Smith's "impartial spectator," he goes on to say that this "archetype, which is to be discerned more or less clearly in every individual, is represented by the State, the objective and, as it were, canonical form in which all the diversity of individual subjects strive to unite" (Letters on Aesthetic Education 17, 19). We have here an early inkling of Schiller's account of the aesthetic state, which takes some readers by surprise when it appears in the final letter (215, et seq.). The point, though, is that this is clearly not the Smithian version of the archetypal impartial spectator. Smith's version of this figure is in no way to be represented by the State, which has little or nothing to do with it. For Smith, it is society that is necessary to the formation of the impartial spectator: he says explicitly that a human being raised outside of society will not develop this internal archetype. The problems Smith identifies in the debilitating effects of the division of labor do not for the most part for him admit of state solutions. For Schiller, by contrast, the State remains central.

This is as much as to say that, while Beiser is right to see Rousseau as part of the problem that Schiller is addressing in the mid-90s writings on aesthetics, he is also part of the solution. Letters on Aesthetic Education bears an epigraph from Rousseau's Julie, and Schiller could still write an ode in praise of Rousseau in I799. As many commentators have noted, Schiller tends to structure his arguments with a proto-Hegelian strategy of overcoming of oppositions. In Letters on Aesthetic Education the antinomy between the formal drive (Formtrieb) and the material drive (Stofftrieb) gives way to the play drive (Spieltrieb). In the Poetry essay he pushes toward a kind of sensibility that will overcome the distinction between the naive and sentimental. Some of the ways in which Schiller differs from Smith's version of a "strikingly aestheticized view of the world" may be analyzable in terms of an overcoming of the antinomies between the writings of the Scottish enlightenment project that culminates in Smith and the writings of Rousseau that culminated in what was for Schiller the still-unfinished business of the French Revolution. But that is an analysis that falls beyond the scope of this essay.


It is perhaps not the best-known of facts about Adam Smith that, having spent his early career lecturing influentially on rhetoric and belles lettres, he spent much of his last fifteen years, after the publication of The Wealth of Nations, on a major treatise concerning what he called "the imitative arts." Besides his writing on the history of astronomy, his treatise on the imitative arts was the only work he wished to see published after his death. In I795, Dugald Stewart helped to bring out a posthumous volume of Smith's Essays on Philosophical Subjects, and one of these is "Of The Nature of That Imitation Which Takes Place in What Are Called The Imitative Arts." The text thus provides a third and final point of departure in Barrell's micro-period of the mid-1790s. As to the exact date of the essay's composition, Smith's modern editors are uncertain, as they are as well about the exact relation of this text to the longer arts treatise on which Smith was known to be working. But the work gained him some attention, not all of it kind. By 1815, Smith's efforts in criticism had earned him sufficient notoriety to warrant a blast from Wordsworth in his "Essay Supplementary," calling Smith "the worst critic, David Hume not excepted, that Scotland, a soil to which this sort of weed seems natural, has produced." (24)

Three considerations lead me to turn to "Of The Nature of That Imitation ... " for illumination of Smith's influential view of sentimental sympathy, each having to do with the key question of mimesis. The first is that Smith initially represents the instinctive act of sympathy as a kind of mimicry, when in The Theory of Moral Sentiments he delivers his famous first example of the crowd attending the spectacle of the slack-rope dancer: they "writhe and twist and balance their own bodies, as they see him do, and as they feel that they themselves must do if in his situation" (TMS 10). The second consideration is that Smith represents the social dynamics of sympathy as caught up in emulation, in that on his account we most readily sympathize upwards, not downwards. This involves us willy-nilly in acts of imitation. Thus, for example: "It is from our disposition to admire, and consequently to imitate, the rich and the great, that they are enabled to set or to lead what is called the fashion" (TMS 64). (25) And thirdly, there is the role of imitation sketched out in the critically important account of the impartial spectator, that ideal man or archetype within, which I suggested mattered to Schiller. The person who has lived a virtuous life, for Smith, is one who has successfully patterned his behavior after this internal example: "He has been in the constant practice and, indeed, under the constant necessity, of modelling, or of endeavouring to model, not only his outward conduct and behaviour, but, as much as he can, even his inward sentiments and feelings, according to those of this awful and respectable judge" (TMS 147). In assimilating his own character to what Smith calls this "archetype of perfection," moreover, the wise and virtuous man "imitates the work of a divine artist, which can never be equalled," and thus he is forced to recognize time and again how far, in spite of his efforts, he has "departed from that model, according to which he wished to fashion his own character and conduct" (TMS 247-48). Smith pushes the analogy far: "In all the liberal and ingenious arts, in painting, in poetry, in music, in eloquence, in philosophy, the great artist feels always the real imperfection of his own best works, and is more sensible than any man how much they fall short of that ideal perfection of which he has formed some conception, which he imitates as well as he can, but which he despairs of ever equalling" (248). It seems reasonable to expect, then, that Smith's tract on artistic mimesis might help us to understand the mimetic dimension of his moral theory. I hadn't anticipated that, by way of Rousseau's politically-integrated music commentaries, it could lead to more.

The argument of the essay on the imitative arts is stretched between two limit cases. The first limit case appears at the outset of the essay's first part, on painting and statuary, the other at the end of the second part, on music and dancing. The former may be seen as the case of perfect imitation and the latter as the case of impossible imitation. These supply handy points of entry into the two parts of Smith's essay. And each, I believe, involves an issue with Rousseau--the first implicitly, the second explicitly.

First, the account of perfect imitation. "The most perfect imitation of an object of any kind," Smith begins, "must in all cases, it is evident, be another object of the same kind, made as exactly as possible after the same model." Thus, the most perfect imitation of the carpet on the floor in front of him as he writes would be another carpet, as he puts it, "wrought as exactly as possible after the same pattern." (26) This sense of a double axis implicit in imitation, the idea that there is a mimesis at once of an object and of its "model," has a proximate source in an apposite text that Smith knew well. In the 1764 essay On Theatrical Imitation, subtitled "An Essay Drawn from Plato's Dialogues," Rousseau argues for a similar way of seeing the issue:
   In order to imitate a thing, one must have the idea of it. This
   idea is abstract, absolute, unique, and independent of the number
   of examples of this thing which may exist in Nature. This idea is
   always anterior to its execution: for the Architect who builds a
   Palace has the idea of a Palace before beginning his own. He does
   not fabricate its model, he follows it, and this model is in his
   mind in advance. (27)

This picture of imitation seems relevant not only to part one of the essay on the imitative arts but also to the account of the impartial spectator in the Theory of Moral Sentiments. There, as we've seen, Smith envisions us as engaging in imitative acts of sympathy in daily life, but at the same time developing our capacities, insofar as we are virtuous, of imitating the "model" sentiments supplied by the impartial spectator. But note that, plotted against this more sharply drawn understanding of imitation, the Smith of the Theory of Moral Sentiments seems to be subtly resisting Rousseau's Platonizing gesture. For not only is it the case that the development of the impartial spectator happens only in the course of and as a result of our experience of the world. It is also the case that it can happen only in the world of human commerce. Smith explicitly argues that the creature denied social intercourse will never develop such an internal model. In this sense, Smith's account of the visual arts shows another ambivalence about the Platonic order of things of the sort that Charles Griswold traces toward the end of his study of Smith and the "virtues of enlightenment." (28)

It is in part two of Smith's essay, when he turns away from Painting and Sculpture to take up Music and Dancing, that the disagreements with Rousseau become more explicit. To appreciate them, it is important to recognize that part of the conceptual bridging structure for the two halves of the essay lies in Smith's distinction between imitations involving objects of the same kind and those involving objects of different kinds. This distinction is developed early in part one. Between objects of the same kind, Smith insists that "whatever merit a copy may derive from its resemblance to the original, an original can certainly derive none from the resemblance of its copy." And yet he also maintains that "a production of art" can be rightly said to "derive a great deal [of merit] from its resemblance to an object of a different kind"--e.g, when a carpet is imitated not in the production of another carpet but rather in a painted still life (EPS 178). And in general, the greater the "disparity" between the kinds of objects involved in the imitation, the greater the art, and the greater the merit. This is the aesthetic principle of difficulte surmonte.

The puzzle Smith poses for himself toward the end of his essay is the question of why it is that instrumental music seems almost completely incapable of imitating sentiment on its own, but can nonetheless, with the supplement of words or pictures (poetry or scenery), "produce all the effects of the finest and most perfect imitation" (EPS 196). The answer that Smith argues for is that music induces various emotional states without imitating them, and that the merest suggestion of reference--in the more imitatively capable media of word, gesture, and picture--allows us to suppose that the emotions we experience are imitative. It is in the course of making this argument that Smith reaches the pole of his discourse that marks the other extreme from that of his opening claim that a perfect representation can occur only between objects of the same kind that have been fashioned on the same model. Here is Smith's surprisingly stark claim: "There are no two things in nature more perfectly disparate than sound and sentiment; and it is impossible by any human power to fashion the one into any thing that bears any real resemblance to the other" (EPS 198). Sound and sentiment, for Smith, constitute a relationship that marks a limit for the domain of the imitative arts. Smith had earlier articulated his minimum standard: "In the imitative arts, though it is by no means necessary that the imitating should so exactly resemble the imitated object, that the one should sometimes be mistaken for the other, it is, however, necessary that they should resemble at least so far, that the one should always readily suggest the other" (EPS 196). For Smith, no relation of sound as such and sentiment as such meets this standard.

Smith's contention that instrumental music is fundamentally not an imitative art stands in sharp relief to what he says about vocal music, which for him most assuredly is. Indeed, he outlines three different "species of imitation" involved in vocal music. The first is what he describes as the "general" sort of imitation that takes place when poetry is added to music and thereby music "is made to resemble discourse" (EPS 194). Whenever music is married to poetry, "or even to words of any kind which have a distinct sense or meaning," then the result is "necessarily and essentially imitative." Even in the case of didactic or historical songs--where the words "express merely some maxims of prudence and morality," or a "simple narrative" of some event--"there will still be imitation." That is, as Smith spells out the point, "there will still be a thing of one kind, which by art is made to resemble a thing of a very different kind" (EPS 190). The minimum criterion would thus be met.

The second species of imitation involved in vocal music is particular, and it can be roughly thought of as "impersonation." That is to say, the words that are wedded to the music "may, and commonly do, express the situation of some particular person, and all the sentiments and passions which he feels from that situation." Smith actually lists a series of such situated personae: "a joyous companion who gives vent to the gaiety and mirth with which wine, festivity, and good company inspire him," "a warrior who prepares himself to confront danger, and who provokes or defies his enemy," et cetera (EPS 190).

And thirdly, the person who sings may add to the "double imitation of the singer [i.e., the general and the particular] the additional imitation of the actor." That is, the singer can "express, not only by the modulation and cadence of his voice, but by his countenance, by his attitudes, by his gestures, and by his motions, the sentiments and feelings of the person whose situation is painted in the song" (EPS 194). Supported by these three kinds of imitation, then, vocal music not only qualifies as an imitative art, as instrumental music does not; it even exceeds the other imitative arts in ways that Smith specifically outlines: in the function of repetition, in the happy choice of its object of imitation, and in its capacity, unavailable to painting and statuary, to "add ... new beauties of [its] own to the beauties ... which it imitates" (EPS 193).

Smith's claims for the imitative power of vocal music are bold. It not only remains squarely in the spectrum of the imitative arts, unlike instrumental music, but it also constitutes an imitative art of exceptional merit for the same reason that painting is an imitative art of higher merit than sculpture. That is, the very disparity between music and its subject, which renders instrumental music non-imitative, redounds to vocal music's credit. As he explains:

... it should be remembered, that to make a thing of one kind resemble another thing of a very different kind is the very circumstance which, in all the Imitative Arts, constitutes the merits of imitation; and that to shape, and as it were to bend, the measure and the melody of Music, so as to imitate the tone and the language of counsel and conversation, the accent and the style of emotion and passion, is to make a thing of one kind resemble another thing of a very different kind. (EPS 191)

The merit of vocal music is thus singled out here by the same logic that had earlier led Smith to rate the imitative merits of painting over sculpture.

For our purposes here, the special importance of vocal music in Smith's account is that his description of its mode of operation brings it so closely into line with the sorts of issues about which he concerns himself so strenuously in the Theory of Moral Sentiments: issues having to do with our sympathetic relation to the sentiments and feelings of a person in a particular situation--that is, with what he goes on to call "the reflected disposition of another person" (EPS 198). In a summary passage distinguishing the operation of instrumental music from vocal music, Smith makes clear for the first time a key mechanism of the genuinely imitative arts, and it turns on a notion familiar from the Theory of Moral Sentiments: "It is not, as in vocal Music, in Painting, or in Dancing, by sympathy with the gaiety, the sedateness or the melancholy and distress of some other person, that instrumental Music soothes us into each of these dispositions" (EPS 198, my emphasis). In the case of instrumental music, to stress the key point, the composition

becomes itself a gay, a sedate, or a melancholy object; and the mind naturally assumes the mood or disposition which at the time corresponds to the object which engages its attention. Whatever we feel from instrumental Music is an original, and not a sympathetic feeling: it is our own gaiety, sedateness, or melancholy; not the reflected disposition of another person. (EPS 198)

Note that Smith here makes the distinction between original and sympathetic feeling perfectly congruent with the distinction between an original object and its imitation. Here we arrive at a moment in the essay in which the intersection with the arguments of the Theory of Moral Sentiments has become hard not to recognize.

And it is just here in the essay, intriguingly, that Smith invokes the theory of musical imitation proposed by Rousseau in the entry on "Imitation" that he first published for his 1768 Dictionnaire de musique and later republished under the same title in the Encyclopedie of 1777, and again in the posthumous Essay on the Origin of Languages (to which I will return momentarily). Describing "Mr. Rousseau of Geneva" as "an Author, more capable of feeling strongly than of analising accurately," Smith then goes on to cite Rousseau's account of imitation virtually in its entirety. I have abridged the passage that Smith cites at great length from Rousseau:

'Painting, which presents its imitations, not to the imagination, but to the senses, and to only one of the senses, can represent nothing besides the objects of sight. Music, one might imagine, should be equally confined to those of heating. It imitates, however, every thing, even those objects which are perceivable by sight only. By a delusion that seems almost inconceivable, it can, as it were, put the eye into the ear; and the greatest wonder of an art which acts only by motion and succession, is, that it can imitate rest and repose.... Though all nature should be asleep, the person who contemplates it is awake; and the art of the musician consists in substituting, in the room of an image of what is not the object of hearing, that of the movements which its presence would excite in the mind of a spectator.'--That is, of the effects which it would produce upon his mood and disposition. 'The musician' (continues the same Author) 'will sometimes, not only agitate the waves of the sea, blow up the flames of a conflagration, make the rain fall, the rivulets flow and swell the torrents, but he will paint the horrors of a hideous desart, darken the walls of a subterraneous dungeon, calm the tempest, restore serenity and tranquility to the air and the sky, and shed from the orchestre a new freshness over the groves and the fields. He will not directly represent any of these objects, but he will excite in the mind the same movements which it would feel from seeing them.' (EPS 198-99)

This is the only moment in the essay where Smith cites another writer on imitation, and as you can see, he does so at considerable length. Further, his critique is particularly pointed for so usually polite a stylist:

Upon this very eloquent description of Mr. Rousseau I must observe that, without the accompaniment of the scenery and action of the opera, without the assistance either of the scene-painter or of the poet, or of both, the instrumental Music of the orchestre could produce none of the effects which are here ascribed to it; and we could never know, we could never even guess, which of the gay, melancholy, or tranquil objects above mentioned it meant to represent to us. (EPS 199)

What precisely is the dispute here and what, for Smith, are its stakes?

Smith expresses concern about an error on the part of Rousseau over the question of musical imitation. Rousseau wrongly supposes that the power of music is synaesthetic, that music enables us not only to hear, but also to see, and to feel (eprouver) in response to that embedded seeing of the eye in the ear. Smith insists that no such thing takes place in instrumental music as such, that such effects as Rousseau ascribes to a magical eye in the ear are, for Smith, associative effects transferred from properly imitative media.

The concluding sentence in the quoted entry on "imitation" might seem to bring Rousseau's position quite close to Smith's. Rousseau does not say that the musician "directly represents" the visual objects listed in his imaginary catalogue. And he describes the effect in remarkably Smithian terms: "the same movements which the mind would feel in seeing them" ("II ne represententera pas directement ces choses, mais il excitera dans l'ame les memes mouvements qu'eprouve en les voyant"). (29) This sounds much like Smith's recurring formulation in the Theory of Moral Sentiments of how we should think about sympathy: not feeling what the other feels but rather what we would feel if we were in their situation. But in the essay Smith draws a sharp line, and I believe this is because Rousseau's formulation involves a different kind of hypothetical transfer and a different understanding of sympathetic reaction.

It helps to recall here Rousseau's broader treatment of pity in his 1764 essay "On Theatrical Imitation," a text closely related to the piece on musical imitation, and also like that companion piece, much reprinted. In this essay, a critique of contemporary arts practice and of the sentimental mode in particular, Rousseau mounts an avowedly Platonic critique of those arts that make pathos central to their practice. The premise that underlies Rousseau's analysis is that the work of sympathy involves the inevitability of the audience's imitation of the emotions that are represented in the work. Confronted with a spectacle of pathos, the audience has no choice but to mimic it: "Who," Rousseau asks, "does not feel the feeling represented to us arise in himself" ("On Theatrical Imitation" 348).

This, of course, is exactly the position that Smith takes such pains to counteract in the opening pages of Theory of Moral Sentiments. Sympathy is not an imitation of another's feeling, he stresses again, but an imitative response based on what we imagine we would feel in the other's situation. And this distinction between a sympathetic and an original feeling is crucial to the distinction Smith makes between vocal and instrumental music. The sympathetic feeling comes from what Smith calls "the reflected disposition of another person." Where Rousseau's account of musical imitation--the one cited by Smith--stresses indirectness in the representation of objects, the audience's response, though synaesthetic, is direct: a matter of imitative excitation. In Rousseau you feel what the other feels but in a way that is synaesthetic and that doesn't involve the question of the person's relation to a situation: their "disposition." In this apparently technical issue about the limit case of the imitative arts, serious issues in moral theory seem to be imbricated.

The key to understanding the politics in this dispute over the relationship between sound and sentiment lies in Rousseau's Essay on the Origin of Languages (In Which Melody and Musical Imitation are Treated), completed in 1761, but published only posthumously in 1781. We cannot be sure what Smith knew of this essay, but it does bring together a number of issues that Rousseau published in other pieces, and it was completed just before the years of Rousseau's close and disastrous contacts with Smith's dear friend David Hume in the mid-1760s. Rousseau's essay returns him to the arguments at issue in his longstanding quarrel with the composer Rameau about the priority of melody over harmony, and it connects them with some of the questions in the entry on imitation. Here it becomes explicit that, unlike Smith, Rousseau regards both vocal and instrumental music as fundamentally imitative, and that instrumental music is imitative so long as it follows the voice and maintains the priority of melody. Melody, he insists, not sound, is the principle of imitation in music, just as design is in painting. Melody is to sound, indeed, as design is to color. (30)

The narrative drive of Rousseau's essay is to suggest that both language and melodic music, whose origins are coeval, degenerate over time: language into logic, music into harmony. These events form a part of the general corruption of the arts, broadly considered, in the movement from simpler forms of life into advanced commercial society. To undertake a close reading of Rousseau's positions in his Essay with Smith's critique in mind is to discover Smith's implicit alliance with Rameau in respect to the question of harmony, which figures repeatedly in Smith's analysis as the emblem and achievement of social intercourse in a world of sympathetic spectators in response to each other. The first such passage comes early on and establishes the theme with its account of the person who gains the sympathy of others:

To see the emotions of their hearts, in every respect, beat time to his own, in the violent and disagreeable passions, constitutes his sole consolation. But he can only hope to obtain this by lowering his passion to that pitch, in which the spectators are capable of going along with him. He must flatten, if I may be allowed to say so, the sharpness of its natural tone, in order to reduce it to harmony and concord with the emotions of those who are about him.... These two sentiments... may ... have such a correspondence with one another as is sufficient for the harmony of society. (TMS 22)

The Theory of Moral Sentiments is a theory of advanced society as aspiring to the kind of harmony that Smith would describe in the Imitative Arts essay as crucial to a musical concerto:

A well-composed concerto of instrumental Music, by the number and variety of the instruments, by the variety of the parts which are performed by them, and the perfect concord or correspondence of all these different parts; by the exact harmony or coincidence of all the different sounds which are heard at the same time, and by that happy variety of measure which regulates the succession of those which are heard at different times, presents an object so agreeable, so great, so various, and so interesting, that alone, and without suggesting any other object, either by imitation or otherwise, it can occupy, and as it were fill up, completely the whole capacity of mind, so as to leave no part of its attention vacant for thinking of any thing else. (EPS 204-5)

It is an account that presumes the indefinite survival of social--though not legal--inequality, of the sort that Rousseau deplored. It is, after all, precisely such social differences that demand the flattening and sharpening of tone that Smith describes in the work of sympathy. For Smith, such differences are endemic to the division of labor that is crucial to producing the wealth of modern nations.

There have been serious efforts to rehabilitate Smith in recent years. Giovanni Arrighi's Adam Smith in Be(ring offers a compellingly fresh account of Smith's understanding of East-West comparisons in economics, and seeks to change our view both of the history of the Chinese economy and of Smith's understanding of the distinction between "natural" and "unnatural" economies. (31) Gareth Stedman Jones has attempted to excavate an understanding of Smith's work from underneath post-French Revolution political appropriations of it. (32) Amartya Sen has framed his introduction to the new edition of the Theory of Moral Sentiments along much the same lines. (33) Charles Griswold and Samuel Fleischacker's books have brought some philosophical sophistication to some of Smith's central arguments and concepts. (34) But of course all these accounts still leave us a long way from Israel's Radical Enlightenment. Smith was no monarchist, but neither was he a republican. He favored parliamentary and mixed forms of government. For Smith, the liberties that enable political economies to prosper also make it possible for these inequalities to be ameliorated by way of the dynamics of his aestheticized view of social circulation. Smith is not as comfortable with social hierarchy as Edmund Burke is, and he has much more time for Rousseau than Burke does, but with Smith's notion of harmonized sentiments we are not far from Burke's notion of the softening function of the moral imagination, and of what Burke called the "true moral equality" of mankind.

This mention of Burke returns me to my starting point in Barrell's account of the treason trials in the mid-1790s. Since the concept of "subtilized matter" plays a formative role in one of the plot lines I've been tracing, perhaps we can revisit Barrell's book by way of a phrase Earl Wasserman borrowed from Shelley's Laon and Cythna, where Laon speaks of "a subtler language within language." (35) That's not a bad description of what I've been gesturing towards in this essay: a subtler language of sentiment within the language of thrills, terrors, and tears, and of various political appropriations, in the wake of the French Revolution. This subtler language has multiple dialects, and jargon acquired from several disciplines. It circulates across Europe in the mid-1790s from Glasgow to Jena. Its roots run back into the seventeenth century. Its political implications are often subtle as well. And though I've only begun to suggest the point here, it continues to inform literary--and eventually cinematic--production over many decades in ways we are only just beginning to recognize.

University of Chicago

(1.) Raymond Williams, "Structures of Feeling," in Marxism and Literature (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1977) 128-35. I wish to thank Andrew Yale for his great assistance with this essay.

(2.) For the most detailed philological tracing of "sentimental" and its cousins, especially in relation to Sterne's impact, see Erik Erametsa, A Study of the Word 'Sentimental' and of other Linguistic Characteristics of Eighteenth Century Sentimentalism in England (Helsinki: Academia Scientiarum Fennica, 1951) 18-63. Erametsa's work is extended and supplemented in Marie Banfield, "From Sentiment to Sentimentality: A Nineteenth-Century Lexicographical Search," 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century 4 (2007).

(3.) See my "Moving Accidents: The Emergence of Sentimental Probability," in Colin Jones and Dror Wahrman, eds., The Age of Cultural Revolutions (Berkeley: U of California P, 2002). See also suggestive remarks on the subject of the sentimental in Douglas Lane Patey, Probability and Literary Form: Philosophic Theory and Literary Practice in the Augustan Age (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1984) 221-23.

(4.) For one, there is Markman Ellis, The Politics of Sensibility: Race, Gender, and Commerce in the Sentimental Novel (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996).

(5.) John Barrell, Imagining the King's Death: Figurative Treason, Fantasies of Regicide 1793-1796 (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000).

(6.) See Diane Hoeveler, "The Temple of Morality: Thomas Holcroft and the Swerve of Melodrama," European Romantic Review 14.1 (March 2003): 49-63. For studies of melodrama in longer perspective see Michael Hays and Anastasia Nikolopoulou, eds., Melodrama: The Cultural Emergence of a Genre (New York: St. Martin's P, 1996); Elaine Hadley, Melodramatic Tactics: Theatricalized Dissent in the English Marketplace, 1800-1885 (Stanford: Stanford UP, 1995); Ben Singer, Melodrama and Modernity: Early Sensational Cinema and its Contexts (New York: Columbia UP, 2001); and, for the adoption of melodrama in the work of the great nineteenth-century novelists, Peter Brooks, The Melodramatic Imagination: Balzac, Henry James, Melodrama, and the Mode of Excess (New Haven: Yale UP, 1976).

(7.) R. S. Crane, "Suggestions toward a Genealogy of the 'Man of Feeling,'" ELH 1.3 (Dec., 1934): 205-30.

(8.) Mary Hays, Memoirs of Emma Courtney, Vol. I (London: Printed for G. G. and J. Robinson, 1796) 177-78.

(9.) Laurence Sterne, A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy by Mr. Yorick, ed. Ian Jack (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1968) 11. Subsequent references cited by page number in the text.

(10.) Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Books, ed. Robert DouglasFairhurst (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006) 21.

(11.) Michael John Kooy's recent book on Coleridge and Schiller argues that the connections are far deeper than has been imagined. See Kooy, Coleridge, Schiller, and Aesthetic Education (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave, 2002).

(12.) Frederick Beiser, Schiller as Philosopher: A Re-Examination (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2005).

(13.) Friedrich Schiller, On the Aesthetic Education of Man, In a Series of Letters, cds. Elizabeth M. Wilkinson and L. A. Willoughby (Oxford: Clarendon, 1967) 9.

(14.) Michael Bell, Sentimentalism, Ethics, and the Culture of Feeling (Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave, 2000).

(15.) Friedrich Schiller, "On Naive and Sentimental Poetry," in Essays, eds. Walter Hinderer and Daniel O. Dahlstrom, The German Library, Vol. 17 (New York: Continuum, 1993) 204. Subsequent references cited by page number in the text.

(16.) Schiller, "Ueber Naive und Sentimentalische Dichtung," in Schillers Werke, Nationalausgabe, Zwanzigster Band: Philosophische Schriften, Erster Teil (Weimar: Verlag Hermann Bohlaus Nachfolger, 2001) 441.

(17.) Annette Baler, A Progress of Sentiments: Reflections on Hume's Treatise (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1991) 180.

(18.) Gilles Deleuze, Empiricism and Subjectivity: An Essay on Hume's Theory of Human Nature (New York: Columbia UP, 1991) 26.

(19.) See Korsgaard, "Reflective Endorsement," in The Source's of Normativity (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996).

(20.) Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, eds. D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1984). Subsequent references cited by page number in the text, preceded by "TMS."

(21.) Charles L. Griswold, Adam Smith and the Virtues of Enlightenment (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998).

(22.) Dennis Rasmussen, The Problems and Promise of Commercial Society: Adam Smith's Response to Rousseau (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State UP, 2008).

(23.) Goethe to Schiller, 16 August 1797, in Correspondence between Goethe and Schiller, 1794-1805, trans. Liselotte Dieckmann, Studies in Modern German Literature, Vol. 60 (New York: P. Lang, 1994).

(24.) William Wordsworth, "Essay, Supplementary to the Preface," in The Prose Works of William Wordsworth, Vol. 3, ed. W.J.B. Owen and Jane Worthington Smyser (Oxford: Clarendon, 1974).

(25.) Smith also cautions against the impulse to mimic the forms of politeness among the superior ranks.

(26.) Adam Smith, "Of the Nature of That Imitation Which Takes Place in What Are Called the Imitative Arts," in Essays on Philosophical Subjects, eds. W. P. D. Wightman and J. C. Bryce, The Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (Oxford: Clarendon, 1980) 176. Subsequent references cited by page number in the text, preceded by "EPS."

(27.) Jean-Jacques Rousseau, "On Theatrical Imitation: An Essay Drawn from Plato's Dialogues," in Essay on the Origin of Languages and Writings Related to Music, trans, and ed. by John T. Scott, The Collected Writings of Rousseau, Vol. 7 (Hanover: UP of New England) 337-38.

(28.) 330-49. Schiller, for his part, seems caught between two versions of the idea, one that goes back to Hutcheson's "theory of ideas," in which an idea is a residue of an impression, and the other of the idea as ideal as it develops in the post-Kantian tradition.

(29.) Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Dictionnaire de musique, ed. Claude Dauphin (Bern: Peter Lang, 2008).

(30.) Rousseau, "Essay on the Origin of Languages," in Essay on the Origin of Languages and Writings Related to Music 319-21.

(31.) Giovanni Arrighi, Adam Smith in Beijing: Lineages of the Twenty-First Century (London: Verso, 2007).

(32.) Gareth Stedman Jones, An End to Poverty? A Historical Debate (New York: Columbia UP, 2004).

(33.) See Amartya Sen's introduction to The Theory of Moral Sentiments, ed. Ryan Patrick Hanley (London: Penguin, 2009).

(34.) Griswold, Adam Smith and the Virtues of Enlightenment, and Samuel Fleischacker, On Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations: A Philosophical Companion (Princeton: Princeton UP, 2004), among others.

(35.) Shelley, Laon and Cythna 7:3109-12, in The Major Works, eds. Zachary Leader and Michael O'Neill (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009). See Earl Wasserman, The Subtler Language: Critical Readings of Neoclassic and Romantic Poems (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1959). For a full discussion of the politics of Shelley's subtler language, see William Keach, Arbitrary Power: Romanticism, Language, Politics (Princeton: Princeton UP, 2004) 95-121.
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Date:Dec 22, 2010
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