Slike strani

duceth these actions. And hence the advantage of choice books and choice company.

164. Grief as well as joy is infectious: the emotions they raise in a spectator resemble them perfectly. Fear is equally infectious; and hence in an army, a few taking fright, even without cause, spread the infection till it becomes a universal panic. Pity is similar to its cause; a parting scene between lovers or friends produceth in the spectator a sort of pity, which is tender like the distress; the anguish of remorse produceth pity of a harsh kind; and if the remorse be extreme, the pity hath a mixture of horror. Anger I think is singular; for even where it is moderate, and causeth no disgust, it disposeth not the spectator to anger in any degree. Covetousness, cruelty, treachery, and other vicious passions, are so far from raising any emotion similar to themselves, to incite a spectator to imitation, that they have an opposite effect: they raise abhorrence, and fortify the spectator in his aversion to such actions. When anger is immoderate, it cannot fail to produce the same effect.



165. Ir is a law in our nature, that we never act but by the impulse of desire; which in other words is saying, that passion, by the desire included in it, is what determines the will. Hence in the conduct of life, it is of the utmost importance that our passions be directed to proper objects, tend to just and rational ends, and with relation to each other be duly balanced. The beauty of contrivance, so conspicuous in the human frame, is not confined to the rational part of our nature, but is visible over the whole. Concerning the passions in particular, however irregular, headstrong, and perverse, in a slight view, they may appear, I hope to demonstrate that they are by nature modelled and tempered with perfect wisdom, for the good of society as well as for private good.

In order to fulfil my engagement, it must be premised, that an agreeable cause produceth always a pleasant emotion; and a disagreeable cause, a painful emotion. This is a general law of nature which admits not a single exception: agreeableness in the cause is indeed so essentially connected with pleasure in the emotion, its effect, that an agreeable cause cannot be better defined, than by its

164 Remarks on grief and joy; fear; pity; anger; covetousness; cruelty, and other vicious passions.

power of producing a pleasant emotion; and disagreeableness in the cause has the same necessary connection with pain in the emotion produced by it.

166. From this pre iminary it appears, that in order to know for what end an emotion is made, pleasant or painful, we must begin with inquiring for what end its cause is made agreeable or disagreeable. And, with respect to inanimate objects, considered as the causes of emotions, many of them are made agreeable in order to promote our happiness; and it proves invincibly the benignity of the Deity, that we are placed in the midst of objects for the most part agreeable. But that is not all the bulk of such objects being of real use in life, are made agreeable in order to excite our industry; witness a large tree, a well-dressed fallow, a rich field of grain, and others that may be named without end. On the other hand, it is not easy to specify a disagreeable object that is not at the same time hurtful. Some things are made disagreeable, such as a rotten carcass, because they are noxious; others, a dirty marsh, for example, or a barren heath, are made disagreeable, in order, as above, to excite our industry. And, with respect to the few things that are neither agreeable nor disagreeable, it will be made evident, that their being left indifferent is not a work of chance but of wisdom: of such I shall have occasion to give several instances.

167. Because inanimate objects that are agreeable fix our attention, and draw us to them, they in that respect are termed attractive: such objects inspire pleasant emotions, which are gratified by adhering to the objects and enjoying them. Because disagreeable objects of the same kind repel us from them, they in that respect are termed repulsive; and the painful emotions raised by such objects are gratified by flying from them. Thus, in general, with respect to things inanimate, the tendency of every pleasant emotion is to prolong the pleasure; and the tendency of every painful emotion is to end the pain.

168. Sensible beings, considered as objects of passion, lead into a more complex theory. A sensible being that is agreeable by its attributes, inspires us with a pleasant emotion accompanied with desire; and the question is, What is naturally the gratification of that desire? As man is endued with a principle of benevolence as well as of selfishness, he is prompted by his nature to desire the good of every sensible being that gives him pleasure; and the happiness of that being is the gratification of his desire. The final cause of desire so directed is illustrious: it contributes to a man's own happiness, by affording him means of gratification beyond what selfishness can afford; and, at the same time, it tends eminently to

165. What impels to action.-Rule in regard to our passions.-Agreeable and disagreeable cause defined.

166. Inanimate objects as causes of emotions.-Why the bulk of such objects are agreeable. Why some things are made disagreeable.

167. Why certain objects are termed attractive, others repulsive

advance the happiness of others. This lays open a beautiful theory in the nature of man: a seifish action can only benefit myself; a benevolent action benefits myself as much as it benefits others. In a word, benevolence may not improperly be said to be the most refined selfishness; which, by the way, ought to silence certain shallow philosophers, who, ignorant of human nature, teach a disgustful doctrine-that to serve others, unless with a view to our own happiness, is weakness and folly; as if self-love only, and not benevolence, contributed to our happiness. With shallow thinkers, the selfish system naturally prevails in theory, I do not say in practice During infancy, our desires centre mostly in ourselves: every one perceives intuitively the comfort of food and raiment, of a snug dwelling, and of every convenience. But that the doing good to others will make us happy, is not so evident; feeding the hungry, for example, or clothing the naked. This truth is seen but obscurely by the gross of mankind, if at all seen the superior pleasure that accompanies the exercise of benevolence, of friendship, and of every social principle, is not clearly understood till it be frequently felt. To perceive the social principle in its triumphant state, a man must forget himself, and turn his thoughts upon the character and conduct of his fellow-creatures: he will feel a secret charm in every passion that tends to the good of others, and a secret aversion against every unfeeling heart that is indifferent to the happiness and distress of others. In a word, it is but too common for men to in dulge selfishness in themselves; but all men abhor it in others.

169. Next in order come sensible beings that are in distress. A person in distress, being so far a disagreeable object, must raise in a spectator a painful passion; and, were man purely a selfish being, he would desire to be relieved from that pain by turning from the object. But the principle of benevolence gives an opposite direction to his desire; it makes him desire to afford relief, and, by relieving the person from distress, his passion is gratified. The painful passion thus directed, is termed sympathy; which, though painful, is yet in its nature attractive. And, with respect to its final cause, we can be at no loss: it not only tends to relieve a fellow-creature from distress, but in its gratification is greatly more pleasant than if it were repulsive.

170. We, in the last place, bring under consideration persons hateful by vice or wickedness. Imagine a wretch who has lately perpetrated some horrid crime; he is disagreeable to every spectator, and consequently raiseth in every spectator a painful passion. What is the natural gratification of that passion? I must here again observe that, supposing man to be entirely a selfish being, he would

168. Sensible beings considered as objects of passion.-The final cause (or design) of desire directed to agreeable persons.-The comparative benefit of selfish and benevolent actions.-Censure upon the doctrine of certain shallow philosophers-How we are to learn the pleasure that accompanies benevolent actions.

169. Rational beings in distress; emotions excited.-Sympathy.

be prompted by his nature to relieve himself from the pain by averting his eye and banishing the criminal from his thoughts. But man is not so constituted; he is composed of many principles, which, though seemingly contradictory, are perfectly concordant. His actions are influenced by the principle of benevolence, as well as by that of selfishness; and, in order to answer the foregoing question, I must introduce a third principle, no less remarkable in its influence than either of these mentioned: it is that principle, common to all, which prompts us to punish those who do wrong. An envious, a malicious, or a cruel action, being disagreeable, raiseth in the spectator the painful emotion of resentment, which frequently swells into a passion; and the natural gratification of the desire included in that passion is to punish the guilty person: I must chastise the wretch by indignation at least, and hatred, if not more severely. Here the final cause is self-evident.

171. An injury done to myself, touching me more than when done to others, raises my resentment to a higher degree. The desire, accordingly, included in this passion, is not satisfied with so slight a punishment as indignation or hatred: it is not fully gratified with retaliation; and the author must by my hand suffer mischief, as great at least as he has done to me. Neither can we be at any loss about the final cause of that higher degree of resentment: the whole vigor of the passion is required to secure individuals from the injustice and oppression of others.

172. A wicked or disgraceful action is disagreeable, not only to others, but even to the delinquent himself; and raises in both a painful emotion, including a desire of punishment. The painful emotion felt by the delinquent is distinguished by the name of remorse, which naturally excites him to punish himself. There cannot be imagined a better contrivance to deter us from vice; for remorse itself is a severe punishment. That passion, and the desire of self-punishment derived from it, are touched delicately by Terence (Heautontimorumenos, Act I. Sc. 1).

Otway reaches the same sentiment:

Monimia. Let mischiefs multiply! let every hour
Of my loathed life yield me increase of horror!
Oh let the sun to these unhappy eyes
Ne'er shine again, but be eclipsed forever!
May every thing i look on seem a prodigy,
To fill my soul with terror, till I quite
Forget I ever had humanity,

And grow a curser of the works of nature!-Orphan, Act IV. 173. In the cases mentioned, benevolence alone, or desire of punishment alone, governs without a rival; and it was necessary to

170. Persons hateful by vice. Man influenced in benevolence. A third principle active ir such cases. 171. Emotion excited by an injury done to myself. 172. A wicked action disagreeable to the delinquent as well as to others. Emotion excited; its use.—Quotation from Otway's Orphan.

view of them by selfishness or by
Its final cause.
The final cause.

handle these cases separately, in order to elucidate a subject which by writers is left in great obscurity. But neither of these principles operates always without rivalship: cases may be figured, and cases actually exist, where the same person is an object both of sympathy and of punishment. Thus the sight of a profligate in the venereal disease, overrun with blotches and sores, puts both principles in motion: while his distress fixes my attention, sympathy prevails; out as soon as I think of his profligacy, hatred prevails, accompanied sometimes with a desire to punish. This, in general, is the case of distress occasioned by immoral actions that are not highly criminal; and if the distress and the immoral action make impressions equal or nearly so, sympathy and hatred, counterbalancing each other, will not suffer me either to afford relief or to inflict punishment. What then will be the result? The principle of self-love solves the question: abhorring an object so loathsome, I naturally avert my eye, and walk off as fast as I can, in order to be relieved from the pain.

174. No action, right or wrong, is indifferent even to a mere spectator: if right, it inspires esteem; disgust, if wrong. But it is remarkable, that these emotions seldom are accompanied with desire the abilities of man are limited, and he finds sufficient employment in relieving the distressed, in requiting his benefactors, and in punishing those who wrong him, without moving out of his sphere for the benefit or chastisement of those with whom he has no connection.

If the good qualities of others raise my esteem, the same qualities in myself must produce a similar effect in a superior degree, upon account of the natural partiality every man hath for himself; and this increases self-love. If these qualities be of a high rank, they produce a conviction of superiority, which excites me to assume some sort of government over others. Mean qualities, on the other hand, produce in me a conviction of inferiority, which makes me submit to others. These convictions, distributed among individuals. by measure and proportion, may justly be esteemed the solid basis of government; because upon them depend the natural submission of the many to the few, without which even the mildest government would be in a violent state, and have a constant tendency to dissolution.

175. No other branch of the human constitution shows more visibly our destination for society, nor tends more to our improvement, than appetite for fame or esteem: for as the whole conveniences of life are derived from mutual aid and support in society, it ought to be a capital aim to secure these conveni

173. Cases where benevolence and desire of punishment alternately operate. When they counterbalance each other, what is the result?

174. No action, right or wrong is indifferent-Emotions raised by a view of good qualities in others: in myself. In view of mean qualities in myself. The basis of gov


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