Slike strani

ly the relation I have to my native country; and every passion, when it swells beyond its ordinary bounds, hath a peculiar tendency to expand itself along related objects. In fact, instances are not rare, of persons, who upon all occasions are willing to sacrifice their lives and fortunes for their country. Such influence upon the mind of man hath a complex object, or, more properly speaking, a general


⚫ 109. The sense of order hath influence in the communication of passion. It is a common observation, that a man's affection to his parents is less vigorous than to his children: the order of nature in descending to children, aids the transition of the affection: the ascent to a parent, contrary to that order, makes the transition more difficult. Gratitude to a benefactor is readily extended to his children; but not so readily to his parents. The difference, however, between the natural and inverted order, is not so considerable, but that it may be balanced by other circumstances. Pliny gives an account of a woman of rank condemned to die for a crime; and, to avoid public shame, detained in prison to die of hunger: her life being prolonged beyond expectation, it was discovered that she was nourished by sucking milk from the breasts of her daughter. This instance of filial piety, which aided the transition, and made ascent no less easy than descent is commonly, procured a pardon to the mother, and a pension to both. The story of Androcles and the lion may be accounted for in the same manner the admiration, of which the lion was the object for his kindness and gratitude to Androcles, produced good-will to Androcles, and a pardon of his crime.

And this leads to other observations upon communicated passions. I love my daughter less after she is married, and my mother less after a second marriage: the marriage of my son or of my father diminishes not my affection so remarkably. The same observation holds with respect to friendship, gratitude, and other passions: the love I bear my friend, is but faintly extended to his married daughter: the resentment I have against a man is readily extended against children who make part of his family; not so readily against children who are foris-familiated," especially by marriage. This difference is also more remarkable in daughters than in sons. These are curious facts; and, in order to discover the cause, we must examine minutely that operation of the mind by which a passion is extended to a related object. In considering two things as related, the mind is not stationary, but passeth and repasseth from the one to the other, viewing the relation from each of them

[* Foris-familiated;-persons, who having received a portion of the paternal estate, give up all title to a further share.]

108 Operation of hatred and other lissocial affections.-Transitory relatics, not favorable to the communication of passion. Two exceptions.

perhaps oftener than once; which holds more especially in considering a relation between things of unequal rank, as between the cause and the effect, or between a principal and an accessory: in contemplating, for example, the relation between a building and its ornaments, the mind is not satisfied with a single transition from the former to the latter; it must also view the relation, beginning at the latter, and passing from it to the former. This vibration of the mind in passing and repassing between things related, explains the facts above mentioned: the mind passeth easily from the father to the daughter; but where the daughter is married, this new relation attracts the mind, and obstructs, in some measure, the return from the daughter to the father; and any circumstance that obstructs the mind in passing and repassing between its objects, occasions a like obstruction in the communication of passion. The marriage of a male obstructs less the easiness of transition, because a male is less sunk by the relation of marriage than a female.

110. The foregoing instances are of passion communicated from one object to another. But one passion may be generated by another, without change of object. It in general is observable, that a passion paves the way to others similar in their tone, whether directed to the same or to a different object; for the mind, heated by any passion, is, in that state, more susceptible of a new impression in a similar tone, than when cool and quiescent. It is a common observation, that pity generally produceth friendship for a person in distress. One reason is, that pity interests us in its object, and recommends all its virtuous qualities: female beauty accordingly shows best in distress; being more apt to inspire love than upon an ordinary occasion. But the chief reason is, that pity, warming and melting the spectator, prepares him for the reception of other tender affections; and pity is readily improved into love or friendship, by a certain tenderness and concern for the object, which is the tone of both passions. The aptitude of pity to produce love, is beautifully illustrated by Shakspeare:

Othello. Her father loved me; oft invited me
Still question'd ine the story of my life,
From year to year; the battles, sieges, fortunes,
That I had past.

I ran it through, even from my boyish days,
To th' very moment that he bade ine tell it:
Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances,
Of moving accidents by flood and field;

Of hair-breadth 'scapes in th' imminent deadly breach;
Of being taken by the insolent foe,

And sold to slavery; of my redemption thence,

109. Communication of passion modified by the sense of order-Affection to parents and to children compared.-Gratitude to the children rather than parents of a benefactor. -Pliny's account of an instance of filial piety and i's effects.-Story of Androcles and the lion.-Love to a daughter before and after marriage; and to a mother after a second marriage. Love to a fiend and to his narried doughter-The operation of mind examined by which a passion is extended to a related object. Its vibratory nature -Elect, when any circumstance obstructs the mind in passing and repassing between its ob'e ́s

And with it all my travel's history.
-All these to hear
Would Desdemona scriously incline;
But still the honse-affairs would draw her thence,
Which ever as she could with haste dispatch,
She'd come again, and, with a greedy ear,
Devour up my discourse: which I observing,
Took once a pliant hour, and found good means
To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart,
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate,
Whereof by parcels she had something heard,
But not distinctively. I did consent,
And often did beguile her of her tears,
When I did speak of some distressful stroke
That my youth suffer'd. My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs:

She swore, in faith, 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange-
'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful-

She wish'd she had not heard it :-yet she wish'd

That heaven had made her such a man:-she thank'd me,
And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story,
And that would woo her. On this hint I spake;
She loved me for the dangers I had past,
And I loved her, that she did pity them:
This only is the witchcraft I have used.

Othello, Act I. Sc. 8.

In this instance it will be observed that admiration concurred with pity to produce love.


Causes of the Passions of Fear and Anger.

111. FEAR and anger, to answer the purposes of nature, are happily so contrived as to operate sometimes instinctively, sometimes deliberately, according to circumstances. As far as deliberate, they fall in with the general system, and require no particular explanation: if any object have a threatening appearance, reason suggests means to avoid the danger: if a man be injured, the first thing he thinks of, is what revenge he shall take, and what means he shall employ. These particulars are no less obvious than natural. But, as the passions of fear and anger, in their instinctive state, are less familiar to us, it may be acceptable to the reader to have them accurately delineated. He may also possibly be glad of an opportunity to have the nature of instinctive passions more fully explained than there was formerly opportunity to do. I begin with fear.

112. Self-preservation is a matter of too great importance to be left entirely to the conduct of reason. Nature hath acted here with her usual foresight. Fear and anger are passions that move us to

110. One passion generated by another without change of object.-Pity gives rise to what?-When female beauty shows to best advantage. Why?-Quotation from Othello. 111. Fear and anger operating instinctively and deliberately.

act, sometimes deliberately, sometimes instinctively, according to circumstances; and by operating in the latter manner, they frequently afford security when the slower operations of deliberate reason would be too late: we take nourishment commonly, not by the direction of reason, but by the impulse of hunger and thirst; and, in the same manner, we avoid danger by the impulse of fear, which often, before there is time for reflection, placeth us in safety. Here we have an illustrious instance of wisdom in the formation of man; for it is not within the reach of fancy to conceive any thing more artfully contrived to answer its purpose, than the instinctive passion of fear, which, upon the first surmise of danger, operates instantaneously. So little doth the passion, in such instances, depend on reason, that it frequently operates in contradiction to it: a man who is not upon his guard, cannot avoid shrinking at a blow, though he knows it to be aimed in sport; nor avoid closing his eyes at the approach of what may hurt him, though conscious that he is in no danger. And it also operates by impelling us to act even where we are conscious that our interposition can be of no service: if a passage-boat, in a brisk gale, bear much to one side, I cannot avoid applying the whole force of my shoulders to set it upright: and, if my horse stumble, my hands and knees are instantly at work to prevent him from falling.

113. Fear provides for self-preservation by flying from harm; anger, by repelling it. Nothing, indeed, can be better contrived to repel or prevent injury, than anger or resentment: destitute of that passion, men, like defenceless lambs, would lie constantly open to mischief.* Deliberate anger caused by a voluntary injury, is too well known to require any explanation: if my desire be to resent an affront, I must use means; and these means must be discovered by reflection deliberation is here requisite; and in that case the passion seldom exceeds just bounds. But, where anger impels one suddenly to return a blow, even without thinking of doing mischief, the passion is instinctive and it is chiefly in such a case that it is rash and ungovernable, because it operates blindly, without affording time for deliberation or foresight.

Instinctive anger is frequently raised by bodily pain, by a stroke, for example, on a tender part, which, ruffling the temper and unhinging the mind, is in its tone similar to anger: and when a man is thus beforehand disposed to anger, he is not nice nor scrupulous about an object; the person who gave the stroke, however accidentally, is by an inflammable temper held a proper object, merely for having occasioned the pain. It is still more remarkable, that a

*Brasidas being bit by a mouse he had caught, let it slip out of his fingers: "No creature," says he, "is contemptible, but what may provide for its own safety, if it have courage."-Plutarch, Apothegmata.

112. The advantages of the instinctive action of fear.-Wisdom of implanting in man the principle of fear.

stock or a stone by which I am hurt, becomes an object of my resentment: I am violently excited to crush it to atoms. The pas sion, indeed, in that case, can be but a single flash; for being entirely irrational, it must vanish with the first reflection. Nor is that irrational effect confined to bodily pain: internal distress, when excessive, may be the occasion of effects equally irrational: perturbation of mind, occasioned by the apprehension of having lost a dear friend, will, in a fiery temper, produce momentary sparks of anger against that very friend, however innocent: thus Shakspeare, in the Tempest,


Sit down and rest.
Even here I will put off my hope, and keep it
No longer for my flatterer; he is drown'd'
Whom thus we stray to find, and the sea mocks
Our frustrate search on land. Well, let him go.

Act III. Sc. 3.

The final words, Well, let him go, are an expression of impatience and anger at Ferdinand, whose ab ence greatly distressed his father, dreading that he was lost in the storm. This nice operation of the human mind, is by Shakspeare exhibited upon another occasion, and finely painted in the tragedy of Othello: Iago, by dark hints and suspicious circumstances, had roused Othello's jealousy; which, however, appeared too slightly founded to be vented upon Desdemona, its proper object. The perturbation and distress of mind thereby occasioned, produced a momentary resentment against Iago, considered as occasioning the jealousy, though innocent:

Othello. Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore;

Be sure of it; give me the ocular proof,

Or by the wrath of man's eternal soul,

Thou hadst been better have been born a dog,

Than answer my waked wrath.

Jago. Is't come to this?

Othello. Make ine see't; or, at the least, so prove it,
That the probation bear no hinge or loop

To hang a doubt on: or woe upon thy life!

Iago. My noble lord--

Othello. If thon dost slander her, and torture me,
Never pray more; abandon all remorse;
On horror's head horrors accumulate;

Do deeds to make heaven weep, all earth amazed;
For nothing canst thou to damnation add
Greater than that.

Othello, Act II. Sc. 8.

114. This blind and absurd effect of anger is more gayly illustrated by Addison, in a story, the dramatis persona of which are, a cardinal, and a spy retained in pay for intelligence. The cardinal is represented as minuting down the particulars. The spy begins with a low voice, "Such an one the advocate whispered to one of his friends within my hearing, that your Eminence was a very great

113. How do fear and anger, respectively, provide for the self-preservation of man? — Operations of deliberate anger; also, of instinctive anger. Not particular or always rational about its objects.-Effects of mental perturbation, illustrated in the Tempest and in Othello.

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