« AnkstesnisTęsti »
a paffion; and when the defire is fulfilled, the paffion is faid to be gratified. Now, the gratification of every paffion must be pleasant; for nothing can be more natural, than that the accomplishment of any wish or defire should affect us with joy: I know of no exception but when a man ftung with remorfe defires to chaftife and punish himself. The joy of gratification is properly called an emotion; because it makes us happy in our present fituation, and is ultimate in its nature, not having a tendency to any thing beyond. On the other hand, forrow must be the result of an event contrary to what we defire; for if the accomplishment of defire produce joy, it is equally natural that disappointment fhould produce forrow.
An event, fortunate or unfortunate, that falls out by accident, without being forefeen or thought of, and which therefore could not be the object of defire, taiseth an emotion of the fame kind with that now mentioned; but the cause must be different; for there can be no gratification where there is no defire. We have not however far to feek for a caufe: it is invol ved in the nature of man, that he cannot be indifferent to an event that concerns him or any of his connections; if it be fortunate, it gives him joy; if unfortunate, it gives him forrow.
In no fituation doth joy rife to a greater height, than upon the removal of any violent diftrefs of mind or body; and in no fituation
doth forrow rife to a greater height, than upon the removal of what makes us happy. The fenfibility of our nature ferves in part to account for these effects. Other caufes concur. One is, that violent diftrefs always raises an anxious defire to be free from it; and therefore its removal is a high gratification: nor can we be poffeffed of any thing that makes us happy, without wishing its continuance; and therefore its removal, by croffing our wishes, muft create forrow. The principle of contraft is another cause : an emotion of joy arifing upon the removal of pain, is increased by contraft when we reflect upon our former diftrefs: an emotion of forrow, upon being deprived of any good, is increased by contraft when we reflect upon our former happiness:
Jaffier. There's not a wretch that lives on com-
But's happier than me. For I have known
It hath always been reckoned difficult to account for the extreme pleasure that follows a ceffation of bodily pain; as when one is relieyed from the rack, or from a violent fit of the
ftone. What is faid explains this difficulty, in the easiest and fimpleft manner: ceffation of bodily pain is not of itself a pleasure, for a nonens or a negative can neither give pleasure nor pain; but man is fo framed by nature as to rejoice when he is eased of pain, as well as to be forrowful when deprived of any enjoyment. This branch of our conftitution is chiefly the cause of the pleasure. The gratification of defire comes in as an acceffory caufe: and contrast joins its force, by increasing the sense of our present happiness. In the cafe of an acute pain, a peculiar circumstance contributes its part: the brisk circulation of the animal fpirits occafioned by acute pain, continues after the pain is gone, and produceth a very pleafant emotion. Sickness hath not that effect, because it is always attended with a depreffion of spirits.
Hence it is, that the gradual diminution of acute pain, occafions a mixt emotion, partly pleasant, partly painful the partial diminution produceth joy in proportion; but the remaining pain balanceth the joy. This mixt emotion, however, hath no long endurance; for the joy that arifeth upon the diminution of pain, foon vanifheth, and leaveth in the undisturbed poffeffion, that degree of pain which remains.
What is above obferved about bodily pain, is equally applicable to the diftreffes of the mind; and accordingly it is a common artifice, to pre
pare us for the reception of good news by alarming our fears.
Sympathetic Emotion of Virtue, and its caufe.
NE feeling there is that merits a deliberate
view, for its fingularity as well as utility. Whether to call it an emotion or a paffion, feems uncertain: the former it can scarce be, because it involves defire; the latter it can fcarce be, because it has no object. But this feeling, and its nature, will be best understood from examples. A fignal act of gratitude produceth in the spectator or reader, not only love or esteem for the author, but also a separate feeling, being a vague feeling of gratitude without an object; a feeling, however, that difpofes the spectator or reader to acts of gratitude, more than upon an ordinary occafion. This feeling is overlooked by writers upon ethics; but a man may be convinced of its reality, by attentively watching his own heart when he thinks warmly of any signal act of gratitude: he will be confcious of the feeling, as diftinct from the esteem or admiration he has for the grateful perfon. The feeling is fingular in the following refpect, that it is accompanied with a defire to perform acts of gratitude, without having any object; though in
that state, the mind, wonderfully bent on an object, neglects no opportunity to vent itself: any act of kindness or good-will that would pass unregarded upon another occafion, is greedily. feized; and the vague feeling is converted into a real paffion of gratitude: in fuch a state, favours are returned double.
In like manner, a courageous action produceth in a spectator the paffion of admiration directed to the author: and befide this well-known paffion, a separate feeling is raised in the spectator; which may be called an emotion of courage; because, while under its influence, he is confcious of a boldness and intrepidity beyond what is ufual, and longs for proper objects upon which to exert this emotion:
Spumantemque dari, pecora inter inertia, votis
Non altramente il tauro, oue l'irriti
Taffo, canto 7.ft. 55.
So full of valour that they finote the air
For breathing in their faces.
Tempeft, act 4. fc. 4.