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bitter, nauseous, pleasant; and different smells,-fetid or fragrant, pungent or bland. It is to be remembered, however, that in its present supposed condition it could form no conception of the external causes of its sensations. It would be occupied solely with the sensations themselves, as in the mind itself, or rather as itself variously affected by them.
Still further, it would discern long-continued, from momentary, sensations; sensations of the same kind repeated several times, as the ringing of a bell; or different sensations regularly alternating with one another, as night and day. It would thus be able to discern, at least to some extent, differences and resemblances in regard to number and length of duration. The diversities of its visual sensations would probably enable it to discern differences and resemblances in regard to length and shortness of lines, between short and long, broad and narrow surfaces.
We have mentioned these differences and resemblances between successive sensations, original or suggested, which a mind situated according to our present hypothesis would be able to discern, not as an enumeration, but merely as specimens of them.
This discernment of differences and resemblances between different sensations, either original or remembered, affords a pleasure peculiar to itself, and altogether different from the pleasure that may enter as an element into any particular sensation. Different minds seem to be differently constituted in this respect. Some minds attend most to the pleasure that forms an element in the original sensation, and are most gratified with this; and some are most gratified with the pleasure that is derived from comparing a sensation with other sensations, and marking their differences or resemblances, and attend most to these. Different minds also seem to have a natural aptitude for observing different classes of resemblances or differences; some have most pleasure in
discerning differences and similarities of sounds; some of colours; some of tastes and smells; and some of feelings. Whether the phrenological theory comes again into play in creating or influencing these different capacities of different minds, in regard to the nature of the pleasure which they enjoy from their sensations, we feel ourselves incompetent to form an opinion, and must again leave the subject in the hands of physiologists. It is obvious, however, whatever may be the cause of these different capacities of different minds for enjoyment, and consequently their different tendencies, they may be the embryo of those diversities of pursuit and occupation which distinguish different individuals. We shall probably have occasion to return to this subject.
In the pleasure or pain which enter as elements into our sensations, and also in the pleasure that we derive from discriminating between them, and marking their resemblances and differences, we have the basis of all the emotions or passions, or, as they are sometimes called, the active powers of the mind. In the power itself of discriminating or judging of the resemblances and differences among our sensations, we have the germ of all its intellectual faculties or exercises. This observation will come more prominently forward as we proceed with our demonstration.
Meanwhile, we have to extend an observation formerly made in regard to original sensations-to the remembrance of sensations; namely, that the pain or pleasure occasioned by any sensation, not only loses much of its intensity when recalled by the exercise of memory, but that the pain or pleasure attending it abates on every repetition of the remembrance of it. Sensations, the first remembrance of which filled us with delight, or overpowered us with agony, gradually lose their effect of moving us. The most heart-rending and best-performed tragedies, which were, on first seeing them performed, quite overpowering, lose that power on being frequently
seen; so that we are disposed to laugh at the tears of those who witness them for the first time. The most ludicrous comic exhibitions also cease to excite laughter when they are frequently witnessed. Hence, also, the disgust that we feel at hearing often-repeated jokes or witticisms; they become stale, to use an expressive epithet usually applied to them.
But while the mind thus gradually becomes indifferent to the pleasure or pain, which it derived from sensations on first experiencing them, by the repetition of them, or the repetition of the remembrance of them, every repetition of them makes the mind more perfectly acquainted with them, and more accurate and prompt in discerning their differences or their resemblances. A tuner of musical instruments loses the pleasure which he originally received from musical sounds, but his ear becomes more acute in discriminating between them. So a perfumer or a cook, with respect to smells and tastes, or a painter or dyer, with respect to colours, loses the pleasure which the sensations with which he is most conversant originally yielded to him; but he becomes the more adroit in discerning their similarities and differences.
The pleasure which we have said accompanies the discernment of resemblances or differences among our sensations, follows the general law of pleasure or pain, and on repetition sinks into indifference. But it has in itself the means of longer duration than the pleasure or pain which formed elements in the original sensations, or in the remembrance of them. The discernment of those relations of difference or resemblance becoming more accurate by repetition, and every new resemblance or difference affording new pleasure, a provision is thus made for the constant renewal of this description of pleasure; while there is no such provision for the renewal of the pleasure derived from sensations irrespective of their relations to one another.
Thus the two elements of sensations, and the remem brances of them, namely, the pleasure or pain of them, and the power of discerning their differences or resemblances, diverge on the prolongation or repetition of them, and follow two opposite courses. The pleasure or pain subsides and sinks into indifference, but the discernment of their relations becomes more acute and perfect; and although the pleasure derived from discerning the resemblances or differences of sensations also sinks into indifference, yet the discernment becoming more exact by repetition, every repetition may cause a new pleasure by disclosing some new resemblance or difference; and this increase of the power and exercise of discrimination seems to have no limit. For the sensation, or revival of a sensation, being often repeated, and necessarily repeated in various connections and sequences, is brought into comparison with a never-ending variety of other sensations, and its resemblances to all of them or differences from them discovered; and thus there seem to be no bounds to the accuracy and extent of discrimination, and consequently to the pleasure derived from the exercise of it.
It will be readily anticipated by an attentive and intelligent reader, that these phenomena respecting the pleasure or pain forming elements of sensations-its passing away on repetition, also the fading of the pleasure derived from discerning any resemblances or differences between sensations, together with the unlimited power of the mind to discover these relations-are phenomena of the utmost importance in the human constitution. We have already hinted that the pleasure or pain connected with sensations, or with discernments of differences or resemblances between sensations, lies at the foundation of all the emotions or passions; while the power of discerning resemblances or differences among our sensations, and the pleasure which such discernments afford, is the basis of our intellectual powers and exercises, and the delight which they yield to us.
The gradual abating of the pleasure derived from any sensation, or from the discovery of any resemblances or differences between sensations, lies at the foundation of the great principle of curiosity or love of novelty, which performs so important a part in the history of our species.
The unlimited power of the mind to discern resemblances and differences, and the pleasure attached to every such new discernment, explain also the superiority of intellectual to sensual pursuits. The man who seeks his enjoyments in the original pleasure of sensation is soon sated. Every such pleasure fades on repetition, and his variety is very limited. His enjoyments soon become nothing better than the momentary allaying of pain, which he has brought on himself by sensual indulgence; whereas intellectual enjoyments possess an inexhaustible fountain of pleasures in the endless variety of objects around us, each affecting the organs of sense in a manner peculiar to itself, and different from all other objects. This principle will be more fully developed in the sequel.
We are now brought up to a division of the powers, or rather phenomena, of the mind which must influence the whole of our future investigations, namely, the emotions or passions founded on the pleasure or pain which enter as elements into our sensations, or which are derived from the exercise of discrimination or judg ment on the one hand, and the intellectual processes which are founded on the power of discerning resemblances and differences in our sensations on the other. This division corresponds pretty nearly to the division into the active and intellectual powers of some metaphysicians. After some hesitation we assign the precedence to emotions, as springing most directly from our sensations themselves, and not from their relations to one another.