An analytical inquiry into the principles of taste by Richard Payne Knight

By Richard Payne Knight

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But whatever be the nature of the substance, which produces sound, the sensations, caused by its vibrations upon the organs of hearing, will depend upon the same principles, as those produced by other substances on other organs. Certain modes and degrees of irritation will be pleasant, others painful, and others insipid; and these will vary in different individuals according to the different degrees of sensibility in their respective organs. In some sorts of dogs, this sensibility is so exquisite, that the sound of a fife or other very shrill instrument, though perfectly in harmony, gives them very acute pain, when near to their ears; as they testify by loud howlings and complainings.

If this desire of change be indulged to excess, men soon begin to require an increase in the degree, as well as variation in the mode? of irritation; whence arises that vicious appetite for strong odours, relishing food, and stimulant liquors, which, if once suffered to prevail, always increases in a constant, and regularly accelerated progression; till at length things, naturally the most nauseous, become most grateful; and things, naturally most grateful, most insipid. PART I. 8. This extreme effect, however, only takes Chap, i.

8. I admit, however, that the word Beauty entirely changes its meaning with every complete or generic change of its application: that is, accordingly as it is applied to objects of the senses, the imagination, or the understandings for, though these faculties are so mixed and compounded in their operations, in the complicated mind of civilized roan, that it is extremely dif- Introduc ficult to discriminate them accurately; yet the v^-^ -^. pleasures of each, though mixed in their effects, are utterly distinct in their causes^ 9.

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