"The tossing of the sea remains after the storm; and when this remain of horror has entirely subsided, all the passion, which the accident raised, subsides along with it; and the mind returns to its usual state of indifference"
— Burke, Edmund (1729-1797)
Pursued for murder from his native clime,
Just gains some frontier, breathless, pale, amazed;
All gaze, all wonder!
This striking appearance of the man whom Homer supposes to have just escaped an imminent danger, the sort of mixed passion of terror and surprise, with which he affects the spectators, paints very strongly the manner in which we find ourselves affected upon occasions any way similar. For when we have suffered from any violent emotion, the mind naturally continues in something like the same condition, after the cause which first produced it has ceased to operate. The tossing of the sea remains after the storm; and when this remain of horror has entirely subsided, all the passion, which the accident raised, subsides along with it; and the mind returns to its usual state of indifference. In short, pleasure (I mean anything either in the inward sensation, or in the outward appearance, like pleasure from a positive cause) has never, I imagine, its origin from the removal of pain or danger.
See (London: Printed for R. and J. Dodsley, 1757). <Link to ESTC><Link to ECCO-TCP>
Text from Edmund Burke, On the Sublime and Beautiful. Vol. XXIV, Part 2. The Harvard Classics. New York: P.F. Collier & Son, 1909–14; Bartleby.com, 2001.
Reading Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime and Beautiful and Other Pre-Revolutionary Writings, ed. David Wommersly (London: Penguin Classics, 1998).