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1. The particular State of Society, in which a
belief of the existence of separate Spirits, and their re-appearance, most probably originated. 2. An Attempt to assign the motives of such belief in the earlier periods of Society.
The Influence of Superstition, when combined
with Religion, and rendered, in some degree, subservient to the imperfect sense of it which then prevailed,
Courteous manners, and polished conversa
tion of the Highlanders accounted for.-Instances of visionary terrors.--Encounters with Spirits,
Imagined power of pious rites in banishing an
Apparition.—Food for credulity eagerly sought by the ignorant of all nations.--Depraved taste for the marvellous nourished by extravagance and absurdity,
their Origin, and Tendency.
WHEN nations, in the progress of
*which they have attained, they begin to
Among others, slowly advancing in
The comparison between an unciviliz-
abundant than those of the wilderness Yet the natural taste that leads us to wander and to speculate with a kind of nameless pleasure among the wildest recesses of the forest or the fell, does not abate, but exalt our delight in the fertility and beauty of cultivated scenes: On the contrary, the pleasure is heightened by contrast.
The anology betwixt the sensations I have been describing, and the intellectual pleasure derived from contemplating the human mind in its native state, opposed to that to which the highest culture can exalt it, holds very closely. Were we to land on some savage island, where the foot of man has never trod, nor his hand removed incumbrance or opened access, we should be harrassed with fears and perplexed with intricacies The tangled luxuriancy of a thorny wild would obstruct our path; and from the gloom of the impenetrable thicket, the
lurking tiger, or the envenomed serpent would seem ready to spring; and at least haunt the startled imagination.
What nature appears to the senses uncultivated and unsubdued by man,-man, savage and unsocial, appears to the understanding, before his mind has been elevated by patriotic, or softened by tender feelings; before he has respected the ties of close affinity, and endeavoured to extend them to his tribe; before he has tasted the sweets of social life, and “ the sympathies of love and friend
ship dear;” nay, before he has been in any degree “smit with the love of “ sacred song,” the first and surest symptom of unfolding intellect. The solitary, cruel, selfish, and capricious savage, far from forming an object of amusing speculation, fills us with sensations of mingled horror and disgust, such as we feel at the Yahoo pictures of Swift; and make us, like his reader,