"The largest river takes its rise from some small fountain; issuing from this, it rolls its streams over a long extent of country, and is enlarged during its course by the influx of many rivulets derived from springs no more considerable than its own, till at last it becomes an impassable torrent, liker to the ocean than to the pitiful rill which purled near its source. In like manner, even those works of genius which appear most stupendous when they are compleated, spring at first from some single perception of sense or memory, obvious, it may be, and trifling, and become stupendous only by the gradual accession of ideas suggested by perceptions equally trivial and common."
— Gerard, Alexander (1728-1795)
(I.v, pp. 95-8)
An Essay on Genius. By Alexander Gerard, D.D. Professor of Divinity in King's College, Aberdeen. (London: Printed for W. Strahan; T. Cadell, and W. Creech at Edinburgh 1774). <Link to ECCO>