Certain objects are sublime in themselves: the noise of a torrent, profound darkness, a tree flung down by the storm.
A character is beautiful when it triumphs, and sublime when it struggles.
"I understand," said Bouvard; "the Beautiful is the beautiful, and the Sublime the very beautiful.”
But how were they to be distinguished?
"By means of tact," answered Pécuchet.
"And tact—where does that come from?"
"What is taste?"
It is defined as a special discernment, a rapid judgment, the power of distinguishing certain relationships.
"In short, taste is taste; but all that does not tell the way to have it."