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Edmund Burke's On the Sublime and Beautiful is analyzed relative to real-life experiences, determining the sublime as deriving from sensations of pain or danger. Examples regarding the sexes propose aspects of self-preservation beyond Burke's original meaning, exhibiting pleasure in experiences involving revelation or destination. Sight and sound are demonstrated as eliciting the sublime, however, only when attended by aspects of thought, e.g., memory and reflective judgment. The writings of Émile Zola are introduced to suggest the same sensual phenomena might not necessarily cause sublimity in different individuals, even the same individual, but vary according to cognitive disposition, i.e., temperament.