Punch,  11 (1846), 10.

Analysis of the Stable Mind



Essay, Drollery


Psychology, Associationism, Animal Behaviour

    Attempts to analyse the 'stable variety of the human mind', now that Lord George Bentinck (a horse-racing fanatic) had 'brought it to celebrity'. Punning on the word 'stable', describes the powers of 'Perception, Conception, Memory, Imagination, and Judgement' in terms connoting horse racing. For example, argues that 'Perception' is 'confined' to the horse's harnesses, 'and to those weaknesses in the human character that constitute the dupe or flat'. Adds that 'Memory of a stable mind is strong' with regard to such events as 'bets placed a long time ago', but fails regarding bets 'wherin its possessor has lost his wager'. Considers the stable mind to have no power of 'Imagination'—'no appreciation whatever of the sublime or the beautiful'. Adds that the stable mind 'displays very strongly' the power of 'Association'—a tendency 'to keep company with grooms and jockeys'.

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