Kingsley, though scarcely so graceful and vivid a describer, had a keener and more constant sense of natural beauty. His vision was unclouded by the peculiar susceptibility of temperament which narrowed the view of his brilliant contemporary.
It has been not infrequently remarked that talents are more common among younger brothers than among elder brothers, but it can scarcely be imagined that younger brothers are, upon an average, born with a greater original susceptibility of parts. The difference, if there really is any observable difference, can only arise from their different situations.
Medical testimony showed the physical differences between men and women; the lesser power of women to endure long hours of standing; the heightened susceptibility of women to industrial poisons lead, naphtha, and the like. A long chapter of testimony on the effect of child-bearing in communities where the women had toiled long hours before marriage, or afterwards, was included.
Allied, as many of them are, to the first families of the island, and gifted as they are with every susceptibility to feel disgrace, it is a marvel that they have not indignantly cast off the yoke and demanded their political rights. Their wrongs have been unprovoked on their part, and unnatural on the part of those who have inflicted them in many cases the guilty authors of their being.
But there is another service that poetry, among all writing, best renders to the general reader, when he needs it; a service less obvious, but sometimes, I think, more important. Poetry insures an extension of youth. Men and women vary in their emotional susceptibility.
And still the bits of blue sky overhead had never seemed so unearthly blue; the drapery of oak and hemlock boughs had never been so graceful and bright; there was a presence in the old gorge that afternoon, which went with them and cleared their eyes from vapour and their minds from everything, it seemed, but a susceptibility to beauty and delight in its influence.
It reminds one how some of the most popular of English writers, in many a half-conscious expression, have witnessed to a susceptibility in the English mind itself, in spite of the Reformation, to what is affecting in religious ceremony.
The excessive physical charm of the Creole had first attracted her, for Edna had a sensuous susceptibility to beauty. Then the candor of the woman's whole existence, which every one might read, and which formed so striking a contrast to her own habitual reserve this might have furnished a link.
In like manner grace by itself shows a certain susceptibility of the feeling faculty, and a certain harmony of sentiment. But may this not be a certain relaxation of the mind which allows so much liberty to sensuous nature and which opens the heart to all impressions? Is it indeed the moral which has established this harmony between the sentiments?
At the name of Agricola's master, Mother Bunch could not suppress a movement of surprise, and also blushed slightly. The superior naturally mistook this surprise and confusion for a proof of the modest susceptibility of the young sempstress, and added: "I have told you all this, my dear daughter, that you might be on your guard.