Most persons will be able to recall analogous states of exhilaration, and the reverse condition of depression, in themselves; the former being characterized by a feeling of general well-being, a sentiment of pleasure in the use of all the bodily and mental powers, and a disposition to look with enjoyment upon the present, and with hope to the future; while in the latter state there is a feeling of general but indefinable discomfort. Every exertion, whether Mental or Bodily, is felt as a burden; the present is wearisome, and the future is gloomy. These, like all other phases of Human Nature, are faithfully portrayed by Shakespeare. Thus Romeo gives expression to the feelings inspired by the first state:
And, all this day, an unaccustomed spirit
Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts."
(Romeo and Juliet, V., 1.
While the reverse state is delineated by Hamlet in his familiar soliloquy:
In the conditions here referred to, the same feelings of pleasure and discomfort attend all the operations of the mind—the merely Sensational and the Intellectual. In the state of exhilaration, we feel a gratification from sensations which at other times pass unnoticed, while those which are usually pleasurable are remarkably enhanced; and in like manner, the trains of Ideas which are started beingattended with similar agreeable feelings, we are said to be under the influence of the pleasurable or elevating Emotions. On the other hand, in the state of depression we feel an indescribable discomfort from the very sensations which before produced the liveliest gratification; and the thoughts of the past, the present, and the future,