Puslapio vaizdai

upon an object in diftrefs, is painful *. Laftly, all diffocial paffions, fuch as envy, refentment, malice, being caufed by difagreeable objects, cannot fail to be painful.

A general rule for the agreeableness or disagreeableness of emotions and paffions is a more difficult enterprise: it must be attempted however. We have a sense of a common nature in every species of animals, particularly in our own; and we have a conviction that this common nature is right, or perfect, and that individuals ought to be made conformable to it f. To every faculty, to every paffion, and to every bodily member, is affigned a proper office and a due proportion: if one limb be longer than the other, or be difproportioned to the whole, it is wrong and difagreeable: if a paffion deviate from the common nature, by being too strong or too weak, it is also wrong and disagreeable: but as far as conformable to common nature, every emotion and every paffion is perceived by us to be right, and as it ought to be; and upon that account it must appear agreeable. That this holds true in pleafant emotions and paffions, will readily be admitted: but the painful are no lefs natural than the other: and therefore ought not to be an exception. Thus the

See part 7. of this chapter.

See this doctrine fully explained, chap. 25. Standard of Taste.



painful emotion raised by a monstrous birth or brutal action, is no lefs agreeable upon reflection, than the pleasant emotion raised by a flowing river or a lofty dome: and the painful paffions of grief and pity are agreeable, and applauded by all the world.

Another rule more fimple and direct for afcertaining the agreeableness or disagreeableness of a paffion as opposed to an emotion, is derived from the defire that accompanies it. If the defire be to perform a right action in order to produce a good effect, the paffion is agreeable: if the defire be, to do a wrong action in order to produce an ill effect, the paffion is disagreeable. Thus, paffions as well as actions are governed by the moral fense. These rules by the wisdom. of Providence coincide:, a paffion that is conformable to our common nature must tend to good; and a paffion that deviates from our common nature must tend to ill.

This deduction may be carried a great way farther but to avoid intricacy and obfcurity, I make but one other step. A paffion which, as aforefaid, becomes an object of thought to a fpectator, may have the effect to produce a paffion or emotion in him; for it is natural, that a focial being should be affected with the paffions of others. Paffions or emotions thus generated, fubmit, in common with others, to the general law above mentioned, namely, that an agree able objeâ produces a pleasant emotion, and a difagree

difagreeable object a painful emotion. Thus the paffion of gratitude, being to a spectator an agreeable object, produceth in him the pleafant paffion of love to the grateful perfon : and malice, being to a spectator a disagreeable object, produceth in him the painful paffion of hatred to the malicious perfon.

We are now prepared for examples of pleasant paffions that are disagreeable, and of painful paffions that are agreeable. Self-love, as long as confined within juft bounds, is a paffion both pleasant and agreeable: in excess it is disagreeable, though it continues to be still pleasant. Our appetites are precisely in the fame condition. Refentment, on the other hand, is, in every ftage of the paffion, painful; but is not disagreeable unless in excels. Pity is always painful, yet always agreeable. Vanity, on the contrary, is always pleasant, yet always difagreeable. But however diftin&t thefe qualities are, they coincide, I acknowledge, in one class of paffions: all vicious paffions tending to the hurt of others, are equally painful and difagreeable.

The foregoing qualities of pleasant and painful, may be fufficient for ordinary fubjects: but with respect to the fcience of criticism, it is neceffary, that we alfo be made acquainted with the feveral modifications of thefe qualities, with the modifications at least that make the greatest figure. Even at first view one is fenfible, that


the pleasure or pain of one paffion differs from that of another: how diftant the pleasure of re venge gratified from that of love? fo diftant, as that we cannot without reluctance admit them to be any way related. That the fame quality of pleasure should be fo differently modified in different paffions, will not be furprising, when we reflect on the boundless variety of agreeable founds, tastes, and smells, daily perceived. Our difcernment reaches differences ftill more minute, in objects even of the fame fenfe: we have no difficulty to diftinguifh different fweets, different fours, and different bitters; honey is fweet, fo is fugar, and yet the one never is mistaken for the other: our fenfe of fmelling is fufficiently acute, to distinguish varieties in fweetsmelling flowers without end. With respect to paffions and emotions, their differences as to pleasant and painful have no limits; though we want acuteness of feeling for the more delicate modifications. There is here an analogy between our internal and external fenfes: the latter are fufficiently acute for all the useful purposes of life, and fo are the former. Some perfons indeed, Nature's favourites, have a wonderful acuteness of sense, which to them unfolds many a delightful scene totally hid from vulgar eyes. But if fuch refined pleasure be confined to a small number, it is however wifely ordered that others are not fenfible of the defect; nor detracts it from their happiness that others fecretly are more


happy. With relation to the fine arts only, that qualification feems effential; and there it is termed delicacy of taste.

Should an author of fuch a taste attempt to describe all those varieties in pleasant and painful emotions which he himself feels, he would foon meet an invincible obftacle in the poverty of language: a people must be thoroughly refined, before they invent words for expreffing the more delicate feelings; and for that reason, no known tongue hitherto has reached that perfection. We must therefore reft fatisfied with an explanation of the more obvious modifications.

In forming a comparison between pleasant paffions of different kinds, we conceive fome of them to be grofs, fome refined. Those pleasures of external fenfe that are felt as at the organ of fenfe, are conceived to be corporeal, or grofs *: the pleasure of the eye and the ear are felt to be internal; and for that reafon are conceived to be more pure and refined.

The focial affections are conceived by all to be more refined than the felfifh. Sympathy and humanity are univerfally esteemed the finest temper of mind; and for that reason, the prevalence of the focial affections in the progrefs of fociety, is held to be a refinement in our nature. A favage knows little of focial affection, and therefore is not

* See the Introduction.


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