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

By Richard Payne Knight

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From this inverted action arises the gratification which we receive from a cool breeze, when the body has been excessively Jieated; or from the rocking of a cradle, PART I, or the gentle motion of a boat, or easy car- 9^^^ riage, after having been fatigued with violent Of Touch, exercise. Such, too, is that which twilight, or the gloomy shade of a thicket, affords to the eye, after it has been dazzled with the blaze of the mid-day sun; and such, likewise, is that, which the ear receives, from the gradual diminution of loudness of tone in music; and it is by alternately ascending and descending this scale, that what is called (by a metaphor taken from painting) the chromatic in that art, is produced: but why the sensation caused by the ascent of the scale should be called pleasure, and that caused by its descent, delight, as distinguished by an pminent writer*, I cannot discover.

We do not, indeed, so often speak of beautiful smells, or flavours, as of beautiful forms, colours, and sounds; but, nevertheless, we apply the epithet to a problem, a syllogism, or a period, as fami "though there are several wild scenes, that are more de- lightful than any artificial shows, yet we find the works of Nature still more pleasant, the more they resemble those of art," which he endeavours to account for philosophically. " This was bold scepticism for so cautious a writer in that liarly, and (as far as we can judge from authority) as correctly as to a rose, a landscape, or a woman.

5. The effect, however, of the same things on different individuals varies according to the different degrees of irritability in their organs; from which their sensibility arises:舒it also varies in the same individual, as he advances from infancy to maturity; and from maturity to decay. Very young children are almost always fond of pure sweet; but as the palate grows adult, it requires some mixture of acid or bitter to vary it, and give it pungency, or it becomes vapid and disgusting. 6. These mixt flavours continue ever after to be most grateful; and it is in mixing and preparing them in the ways best adapted to excite and prolong appetite by stimulating the organs, .

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