this mind of the heart,

Category: Mind | Type: Discussion | Title: David Copperfield (in Context) | Author: Charles Dickens | Ch: Mischief

A memorable phrase, especially in conjunction with "there is a subtlety of perception in real attachment," meaning the heart has insight. Dickens is describing something akin to what we call emotional intelligence.

By "the lower animals" he means especially dogs and cats, whose attachment is unconditional and who can observe subtle changes in mood, manner, and physical health. Children, instanced by little David, combine a steady, clear perception with sincere feeling. Children and childlike adults such as Mr. Dick lack developed selves and so see with less distortion.  

The heart is "lower" than the intelligence only in the sense that it is more elemental. Dickens follows the Romantics in distrusting abstract reasoning and intelligence divorced from feeling. Consider Steerforth's, Heep's, and Rosa Dartle's intelligence. 

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