Puslapio vaizdai

if the defire be, to do a wrong action in order to produce an ill effect, the paffion is, and must be difagreeable. In this light, paffions as well as actions are governed by the moral fenfe. These rules by the wifdom 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, muft fo far 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, viz. that an agreeable object produces a pleasant emotion, and a disagreeable object a painful emotion. Thus the paffion of gratitude, being to a fpectator an agreeable object, produceth in him the pleasant paffion of love to the grateful perfon: and malice, being to a spectator a difgreeable 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, fo long as confined within just bounds, is a paffion both G 3 pleasant

pleasant and agreeable: in excefs it is disagreeable, though it continues to be still pleasant. Our appetites are precifely in the fame condition. Refentment, on the other hand, is, in every stage of the paffion, painful; but is not disagreeable unless in excefs. Pity is always painful, yet always agreeable. Vanity, on the contrary, is always pleasant, yet always difagreeable. But however diftinct thefe qualities are, they coincide, I acknowledge, in one clafs of paffions: all vicious paffions tending to the hurt of others, are equally painful and difagreeable.

The foregoing qualities of pleafant and painful, may be fufficient for ordinary fubjects: but with refpect to the fcience of criticifm, it is further neceffary, that we be made acquainted with the feveral modifications of these qualities, with the modifications at least that make the greatest figure. Even at firft view one is fenfible, that the pleasure or pain of one paffion differs from that of another how diftant the pleasure of revenge gratified, from that of love? fo distant, as that we cannot without reluctance admit them to be any way related. That the fame quality of pleafure fhould 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 nice, in objects even of the fame fenfe: we have no difficulty to distinguish different fweets, different fours, and

and different bitters; honey is fweet, fo is fugar, and yet they never pass the one for the other: our sense of smelling is fufficiently acute, to diftinguish varieties in fweet-fmelling flowers without end. With refpect 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. In this matter, however, there is an analogy between our internal and external fenfes: the latter generally are sufficiently acute for all the useful purposes of life, and fo are the former. Some perfons indeed, Nature's favourites, have a wonderful acuteness of fenfe, which to them unfolds many a delightful scene totally hid from vulgar eyes. But if fuch refined pleasure be with-held from the bulk of mankind, it is however wifely ordered that they are not fenfible of the defect; and it detracts not from their happiness that others fecretly are more happy. With relation to the fine arts only, this qualification feems effential; and there it is termed delica y of tafte.

Should an author of fuch a tafte attempt to describe all thofe varieties in pleasant and painful emotions which he himself feels, he would foon meet an invincible obstacle in the poverty of language: a people must be thoroughly refined, before they find words for expreffing the more delicate feelings; and for that reason, no known tongue hitherto has reached that perfection. We G4 must

must therefore reft fatisfied with an explanation of the more obvious modifications.

In forming a comparison between pleasant paffions of different kinds, we conceive some 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 pleasures of the eye and 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 selfish. Sympathy and humanity are univerfally esteemed the finest temper of mind; and for that reafon, 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 qualified to compare selfish and facial pleasure; but a man, after acquiring a high relish of the latter, lofes not thereby a taste for the former this man is qualified to judge, and he will give preference to focial pleasures as more fweet and refined. In fact they maintain that character, not only in the direct feeling, but also when we make them the fubject of reflection; the focial paffions are by far more agreeable than the felfish, and rife much higher in our esteem.

There are differences not lefs remarkable among the painful paffions. Some are voluntary,

See the Introduction.


fome involuntary: the pain of the gout is an example of the latter; grief, of the former, which in fome cafes is fo voluntary as to reject all confolation. One pain foftens the temper, pity is an in stance: one tends to render us favage and cruel, which is the cafe of revenge. I value myself upon fympathy: I hate and despise myself for


Social affections have an advantage over the selfish, not only with respect to pleasure as above explained, but also with respect to pain. The pain of an affront, the pain of want, the pain of disappointment, and a thousand other selfish pains, are cruciating and tormenting, and tend to a habit of peevishness and difcontent. Social pains have a very different tendency. The pain of fympathy, for example, is not only voluntary, but does me good, by foftening my temper, and raising me in my own esteem.

Refined manners, and polite behaviour, must not be deemed altogether artificial: men who, inured to the sweets of society, cultivate humanity, find an elegant pleasure in preferring others, and making them happy, of which the proud or delfish scarce have a conception.

Ridicule, which chiefly arifes from pride, a felfish paffion, is at best but a grofs pleasure: a people, it is true, must have emerged out of barbarity before they can have a taste for ridicule; but it is too rough an entertainment for those who are highly polished and refined. Ci


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