Wednesday, March 24, 2010


It is difficult to say for what reason the very things that move our senses most to pleasure, and appeal to them most speedily at first, are the ones from which we are most quickly estranged by a kind of disgust and surfeit. How much more brilliant, as a rule, in beauty and variety of colouring are new pictures compared to old ones. But though they captivate us at first sight, the pleasure does not last, while the very roughness and primitiveness of old painting maintain their hold on us. In singing, how much softer and more delicate are glides and trills than firm and severe notes. But not only people of austere taste but often even the crowd protest if such effects are too much repeated. The same is true of the other senses. We enjoy ointments prepared with an extremely sweet and penetrating scent less long than those that are subdued, and even the sense of touch wants only a certain degree of softness and lightness. Taste is the most pleasure-loving of the senses and more easily attracted by sweetness than the others, yet how quickly it rejects and dislikes anything sweet... Thus, in all things, disgust borders immediately upon pleasure.’

- Cicero

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