DIRECTOR   Elmo Warshawsky


FEEBLENESS OF IMPRESSION. 4. Under a certain degree of Faintness, a present impression will be unable to recall the past, even although the resemblance amounts to identity. When a present impression is very faint or feeble, it is the same as no impression at all. Nevertheless, we are interested in considering the instances, of not unfreqnent occurrence, where a faint impression is recognized by one man and not by another. Suppose a taste. In the case of a very feeble brine, many persons might consider the water quite fresh; others again would discern the taste of the salt; that is to say, the present impression of salt would recall the previous collective impression of the taste of salt, and with that the name and characters, or the full knowledge of salt; in other. words, would identify the substance. (1) Let us reflect on the mental peculiarity that may be supposed to cause the difference. In the first place, we must admit that the natural delicacy of the sense of Taste might vary. We know that all the senses are subject to individual variations of natural acuteness.; the readiest test of the comparative acuteness being the power of Discrimination, which power also implies a delicate sense of Agreement, as well as a special force of Retentiveness. In the same way, a delicate sense of smell, as in the dog, would show itself in identifying very faint odours; a good ear would make out fainter impressions of sound; an eye for colour would recognize a faint shade of yellow in what to another eye would seem the absence of colour. (2) In the second place, through familiarity, or other cause, the previoiis impression might be more deeply engrained in one mind than in another; as a consequence of which, it would start out on a slighter touch of present stimulus. We should expect this to happen from the very nature of the case, and we know, by abundance of familiar facts, that it does happen. The sailor identifies a ship in the offing, and determines its build, sooner than a landsman. According as our familiarity with spoken language increases, we identify the faintest whisper, or most indistinct utterance. It matters not by what means the previous impression has been rendered deep and strong,—whether by mere iteration, or by the influence of feeling. (3) A third possible source of inequality, iu recognizing a faint impression, is the habit of attending to the particular class of impressions. This may be otherwise described, as iho acquired delicacy of tlie sense; by repeated acts of attention or concentration of mind, on any one sense, or any one region of things, a habitual concentration is determined, augmenting, by so much, the natural delicacy of the sense. Hence all professional habits of-regarding some particular objects, render the individuals susceptible to the feeblest impression of any one of those objects. It need not be made the subject of a separate head, that the undistracted condition of the mind at the time, necessarily favours the power of making out the identity. A full concentration of the observing powers is supposed in order to do justice to the case ; the concentration may, or may not, be aided by motives of special interest, or by circumstances that excite the nervous energy beyond its ordinary pitch.