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cause can you ascribe what, in my mind, is still more astonishing : -in such a country as Scotland a nation cast in the happy medium between the spiritless acquiescence of submissive poverty, and the sturdy credulity of pampered wealth-cool and ardente-adventurous and persevering-winging her eagle flight against the blaze of every science, with an eye that never winks, and a wing that never tires-crowned as she is with the spoils of every art, and decked with the wreath of every muse, from the deep and scrutinizing researches of her Hume, to the sweet and simple, but not less sublime and pathetic, morality of her Burns-how from the bosom of a country like that, genius, and character, and talents, should be banished to a distant barbaroug soil, condemned to pine under the horrid communion of vulgar vice and base-born profligacy, før twice the period that ordinary calculation gives to the continuance of human life ?"
LIFE OF J. P. CURRAN.
REMORSE UNASSUAGED IN THE CONTEM
PLATION OF LANDSCAPE-BEAUTY.
It was the nightmand Lara's glassy stream
• Mr. Curran alludes to the sentence of Mr. Muir, Palmer, &c. who had been transported for sedition.
So calm, the waters scarcely seem to stray,
The crowd are gone, the revellers at l'est;
Night wanes--the vapours round the mountains
curled Melt into morn, and Light awakes the world.
Man has another day to swell the past,
RETENTION OF IDEAS.
THE next faculty of the mind, whereby it makes a farther progress towards knowledge, is that which I call retention, or the keeping of those simple ideas which from sensation or reflection it hath received. This is done two ways; first, by keeping the idea, which is brought into it, for some time actually in view; which is called contemplation. The other way of retention, is the power to revive again in our minds those ideas, which after imprinting have disappeared, or have been as it were laid out of sight: and thus we do when we conceive heat or light, yellow or sweet, the object being removed. This is memory, which is as it were the store-house of
our ideas. For the narrow mind of man not being capable of having many ideas under view and consideration at once, it was necessary to have a repository to lay up those ideas, which at another time it might have use of. But our ideas being nothing but actual perceptions in the mind, which cease to be any thing when there is no perception of them, this laying up of our ideas in the repository of the memory signifies no more but this, that the mind has a power in many cases to revive perceptions which it has once had, with this additional perception annexed to them, that it has had them before. And in this sense it is that our ideas are said to be in our memories, when indeed they are actually nowhere; but only there is an ability in the mind when it will to revive them again, and as it were paint them anew on itself, though some with more, some with less difficulty; some more lively, and others. more obscurely.
And thus it is, by the assistance of this faculty, that we are to have all those ideas in our understandings, which, though we do not actually contemplate, yet we can bring in sight, and make appear again, and be the objects of our thoughts, without the help of those sensible qualities which first imprinted them there.