Puslapio vaizdai


by reiterated views, is fwelled into a paffion involving defire of that perfon's happiness; and this defire being often put in exercise, works gradually a change internally, and at laft produceth in me a fettled habit of affection for that perfon, now my friend: affection thus produced, operates precisely like an original propensity; for to enliven it into a passion, no more is required but the real or ideal prefence of the object. The habit of averfion or of hatred is brought on in the fame manner. And here I muft obferve by the way, that love and hatred fignify commonly affection and aversion, not paffion. The bulk of our paffions, are indeed affection or averfion inflamed into a paffion by different circumftances: the affection of love I bear to my fon, is inflamed into the paffion of fear when he is in danger; becomes hope when he hath a profpect of good fortune; becomes admiration when he performs a laudable action; and shame when he commits any wrong: averfion becomes fear when there is a profpect of good fortune to my enemy; becomes hope when he is in danger; becomes joy when he is in diftrefs; and forrow when a laudable action is performed by him.

Fourthly, paffions generally have a tendency to excefs, occafioned by the following means. The mind affected by any paffion, is not in a proper ftate for diftinct perception nor cool reflection: on the contrary, it always hath a strong bias to the object of an agreeable paffion, and a bias not lefs strong

ftrong against the object of a disagreeable paffion. The object of love, for example, however indif ferent to others, is to the lover's conviction a paragon; and of hatred, is vice itfelf without alloy. What lefs can fuch delufion operate, than to fwell the paffion beyond what it was at firft! for if the feeing or converfing with a fine woman, have had the effect to carry me from indifference to love; how much stronger must her influence be, when now to my conviction fhe has become an angel? and hatred as well as other paffions muft run the fame courfe. Thus between a paffion and its object there is a natural operation, refembling action and reaction in phyfics: a paffion acting upon its object, magnifies it greatly in appearance; and this magnified object reacting upon the paffion, fwells and inflames it mightily.

Fifthly, the growth of fome paffions depends often on occafional circumftances: obftacles to gratification, for inftance, never fail to augment and inflame a paffion; because a conftant endeavour to remove an obstacle, preserves the object of the paffion ever in view, which fwells the paffion by impreffions frequently reiterated: thus the restraint of confcience, when an obftacle to love, agitates the mind and inflames the paffion :

Quod licet, ingratum eft: quod non licet, acrius urit.
Si nunquam Danaën habuiffet ahenea turris,

Non effet Danaë de Jove facta parens.

Ovid, Amer. 1. 20


At the fame time, the mind, diftreffed with the obftacle, becomes impatient for want of -gratification, and confequently more defirous of it. Shakespear expreffes this obfervation finely:

All impediments in fancy's course,
Are motives of more fancy.

We need no better example than a lover who hath many rivals. Even the caprices of a mistress have the effect to inflame love: thefe occafioning uncertainty of fuccefs, tend naturally to make the anxious lover overvalue the happiness of fruition.

So much upon the growth of paffions: their continuance and decay come next under confideration. And, first, it is a general law of nature, That things fudden in their growth, are equally fudden in their decay. This is commonly the cafe of anger. And with refpect to wonder and furprise, which also fuddenly decay, another reafon concurs, that their causes are of short duration: novelty foon degenerates into familiarity; and the unexpectedness of an object, is foon funk in the pleasure that the object affords. Fear, which is a paffion of greater importance as tending to felf-prefervation, is often inftantaneous; and yet is of equal duration with its caufe: nay it frequently fubfifts after the caufe is removed.

In the next place, a paffion founded on a peculiar propensity, fubfifts generally for ever; which is the cafe of pride, envy, and malice: objects VOL. I.



are never wanting to inflame the propensity into a paffion.

Thirdly, it may be laid down as a general law of nature, That every paffion ceases upon attaining its ultimate end. To explain this law, we muft diftinguish between a particular and a general end. I call a particular end what may be accomplished by a single act: a general end, on the contrary, admits acts without number; because it cannot be faid, that a general end is ever fully accomplished, while the object of the paffion subfifts. Gratitude and revenge are examples of the firft kind: the ends they aim at may be accomplished by a single act; and when this act is performed, the paffions are neceffarily at an end. Love and hatred are examples of the other kind: the defire of doing good or of doing mifchief to an individual, is a general end, which admits acts without number, aud which feldom is fully accomplished therefore these paffions have frequently the fame duration with their objects.

Lastly, it will afford us another general view, to confider the difference between an original propenfity, and affection or averfion produced by cuftom. The former adheres too close to the conftitution ever to be eradicated; and for that reafon, the paffions to which it gives birth, continue during life with no remarkable diminution. The latter, which owe their birth and increment to time, owe their decay to the fame caufe: affection and averfion decay gradually as they grow;


and accordingly long abfence extinguisheth hatred as well as love. Affection decays more gradually between perfons who, living together, have daily occafion to testify mutually their good-will and kindness and when affection is decay'd, habit fupplies its place; for it makes these perfons neceffary to each other, by the pain of feparation *. Affection to children hath a long endurance, longer perhaps than any other affection: its growth keeps pace with that of its objects: they difplay new beauties and qualifications daily, to feed and augment the affection: but whenever the affection becomes stationary, it must begin to decay; with a flow pace indeed, in proportion to its increment. In short, man with refpect to this life, is a temporary being: he grows, becomes ftationary, decays; and fo must all his powers and paffions.



Coexiftent emotions and paffions.

have a thorough knowledge of the human paffions and emotions, it is not fufficient that they be examined fingly and feparately as a plurality of them are fometimes felt at the fame

• See chap. 14.

H 2


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