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2. Beauty of Language with respect to
Signification, : - 18
blance between Sound and Signifi-
THAT nothing external is perceived till first
1 it make an impression upon the organ of sense, is an observation that holds equally in every one of the external senses. But there is a difference as to our knowledge of that imprese fion : in touching, tafting, and finelling, we are sensible of the impression; that, for example, which is made upon the hand by a stone, upon the palate by an apricot, and upon the nostrils by a rose: it is otherwise in seeing and hearing; for I am not sensible of the impression made upon my eye, when I behold a tree; nor of the impresfion made upon my ear, when I listen to a song *. That difference in the manner of perceiving external objects, distinguisheth remarkably hearing and feeing from the other fenses; and I am ready to show, that it distinguisheth ftill more remarkably the feelings of the former from that of the latter; every feeling, pleasant or painful, must be in the mind ; and yet, because in tasting, touching, and smelling, we are fenfible of the impression made upon the organ, we are led to place there also the pleasant or painful feeling : Vol. I.
# See the Appendix, § 13,
caused by that impression * ; but, with respect to seeing and hearing, being insensible of the organic impression, we are not misled to assign a wrong place to the pleasant or painful feelings caused by that impression; and therefore we naturally place them in the mind, where they really are: upon that account, they are conceived to be more refined and spiritual, than what are derived from tasting, touching, and smelling; for the latter feelings, seeming to exist externally at the organ of sense, are conceived to be merely corporeal.
The pleasures of the eye and the ear, being thus elevated above those of the other external senses, acquire so much dignity as to become a laudable entertainment. They are not, however, set on a level with the purely intellectual; being no less inferior in dignity to intellectual pleasures, than
superior * After the utmost efforts, we find it beyond our pow. er to conceive the flavour of a rose to exist in the mind : we are necessarily led to conceive that pleasure as exifting in the nostrils along with the impression made by the rose upon that organ. And the same will be the result of experiments with respect to every feeling of taste, touch, and smell. Touch affords the most satisfactory experiments. Were it not that the delusion is detected by philosophy, no perfon would hesitate to pronounce, that the pleasure arising from touching a smooth, soft, and velvet surface, has its existence at the ends of the fingers, without once dreaming of its existing anywhere elle.. -- -. - .