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Dolce sentier,
Colle, che mi piacesti,
Ov' ancor per usanza Amor mi mena;
Ben riconosco in voi l' usate forme,
Non, lasso, in me.





The Poem begins with the description of an obscure village, and of the pleasing melancholy which it excites on being revisited after a long

absence. This mixed sensation is an effect of

the Memory. From an effect we naturally ascend to the cause; and the subject proposed is then unfolded with an investigation of the nature and leading principles of this faculty.

It is evident that there is a continued suc

cession of ideas in the inind, and that they introduce each other with a certain degree of

regularity. Their complexion depends greatly on the different perceptions of pleasure and pain which we receive through the medium of sense; and, in return, they have a considerable

influence on the animal economy.

They are sometimes excited by sensible objects, and sometimes by an internal operation of the mind. Of the former species is most probably the memory of brutes; and its many sources of pleasure to them, as well as to us, are considered in the first part. The latter is the most perfect degree of memory, and forms the subject of the second.

When ideas have any relation whatever, they are attractive of each other in the mind; and the perception of any object naturally leads to the idea of another, which was connected with it either in time or place, or

which can be compared or contrasted with it.

Hence arises our attachment to inanimate ob

jects; hence also, in some degree, the love of our country, and the emotion with which we contemplate the celebrated scenes of antiquity. Hence a picture directs our thoughts to the original: and, as cold and darkness suggest forcibly the ideas of heat and light, he, who feels the infirmities of age, dwells most on whatever reminds him of the vigour and vivacity of his youth.

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