A Series of Popular Essays; Illustrative of Principles Essentially Connected with the Improvement of the Understanding, the Imagination, and the Heart Volume N . 1
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1817 edition. Excerpt: ...to affect the mind with correspondent emotions. Hence we must inier, that habitual attention to these qualities in external objects is indispensable to the cultivation of taste, however brilliant the imagination, and however ardent the affections. I shall endeavour to illustrate these remarks by familiar examples. First, with regard to the man of uncultured mind, but cultivated affections. In every such instance we shall find, that the affections, however ardent, are limited to their proper objects; they are1 never capable of being excited by remote resemblances to the qualities which endear the human beings, with whom he is connected, to his heart. An ignorant peasant may give the most striking proofs of tender affection for his infant offspring; and this affection will expand his heart so far, as to inspire him with tenderness for children in general, and perhaps awaken kindly and benevolent feelings for every object of human sympathy. But will any of the most beautiful scenes in nature have such power over his imagination, as to recall the ideas of infancy, and thus to excite emotions of tenderness similar to those we suppose him to have frequently experienced? No; the return of the vernal season will be hailed by him as the return of the season of profitable exertion. But it is not in a mind so constituted, that "the soft and gentle grass with which the earth is spread, the feeble texture of the plauts and flowers, the young of animals just entering into life, the remains of winter yet lingering among the woods and hills, will inspire something of that fearful tenderness tvith nhick infancy is usvally beheld." We need only ask a few questions of any uneducated person, to be convinced of the extreme insensibility with which objects, ...
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