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to their view, the progress of the tail is intercepted from the birth. It would be worth the experiment to exhibit to an infant no one of its kind but with a fictitious tail; in which case it is not to be doubted but that this designed appendage of the posteriors would shoot out to a graceful length, when the human body would no longer ask concealment, but show itself with all its naked furniture with as much bold. ness as the face with its projecting ornaments. For it is suspected, that the idea of a pudendum in other parts of the body owed its origin to this unfortunate diminution of the human form, and that the fashion of dress stole upon man from this æra.
From the same source is all the furniture of the mind derived, and in the same regular progress. What passes in the minds of the parents and other surrounding seniors is communicated to the infant's mind by the external signs, which are appropriate to the internal ideas. These communications the infant greedily receives without
distinction, and by the power of imitation naturalizes them to itself. The parent is angry; this internal emotion is strongly marked by a peculiar and violent effect upon the features of the countenance, and a commotion of the whole frame. So extraordinary an appearance of the human form attracts the infant's notice; it observes the connexion between certain concomitant circumstances and this strikingphænomenon, and thus gradually catching by imitation the same impression from similar objects, it learns the contracted brow, the projected fiery eye, the quivering lip, the menacing hand, and the agitated frame. Perhaps it must be allowed, that bodily pain is originally natural to a human being; yet terrour, from the sight of unexperienced objects, of whatever form, is merely the child of imitation, and caught, during the progress to manhood, from the manners of those around
A toad, a serpent, or a hog, is as acceptable a plaything to a child as a sparrow or a lap-dog ; but the instant aversion, the
apprehensive interposition, and all the marked expressions of terrour, which the parent discovers when such an object is produced, seize the eye of the offspring, communicate a similar impression to its mind, dispose it to the like external agitations on the presence of the same object, and thus give it the idea of an ugliness in certain forms.
As thus the idea of deformity, and its accompaniment of aversion and terrour are excited, so are the notions of beauty and affection in all their degrees introduced to the mind. The officious predilection of the parent, and the pleasure which he discovers in his countenance in favour of one object rather than another, beget the sensation of desire as appropriated to one thing in preference to another. The repetition of the same lesson habituates the prejudice; and the child, losing the remembrance of the first appearance of these distinctions in its mind, comes to imagine that there is a real difference in things as related to itself; and that its internal constitution is naturally and ori
ginally adapted to this difference. Gratitude, parental and brotherly affection, attachment to friends and country, or even to ideal objects, and all the morał forms of love, may thus easily and naturally be derived from the single operation of this imitative faculty ; which, having learned the expression of every inward emotion from more expert practitioners, associates these appearances with the objects visible or ideal, with which it has observed them to be constantly united.
Though the truth of any theory does not depend upon a coincidence of sentiment with other writers, however distinguished; yet few are not gratified with being able to quote respectable authorities in aid of their scheme. Mr. Locke, reasoning from the largest experience of man, has clearly perceived that the human mind in its first en
on this theatre is a mere carte blanche, having no determination, no propensity whatever, intellectual or moral; but that all are alike indifferent to it, receiving
every particular direction solely from its growing conversation with a lessoned world. He has happily discovered, that there is nothing monstrous or unnatural in
sentiment or action; that parents are as originally disposed to sacrifice or to eat their children, as to rear them with that affectionate tenderness, which is also observable in the history of man, but not more instinctive than the contrary practice; that it makes no kind of difference to the native mind of man, whether he shall be taught to worship a god or a devil; to cut the throat of a fellow-creature or a wolf; to murder a benefactor, or to revere and cherish him, and return his kindnesses; in fine, that human history has exhibited every conceivable opposition both of principle and practice, nor merely in individual, but in national character.
Happy was the discovery, and much is every unfettered genius indebted to the sagacity of Mr. Locke. So far we are agreed; and proceeding one step further, he would