Puslapio vaizdai

fpecting Chimene, which, making part of the fame ftory, is placed here, though it properly belongs to the foregoing head. It became the duty of that lady to demand justice against her lover, for whofe prefervation, in other circumftances, fhe chearfully would have facrificed her own life. The ftruggle between thefe oppofite paffions directed to the fame object, is finely expreffed in the third scene of the third act:

Elvire. Il vous prive d'un pére, et vous l'aimez encore ! Chimene. C'est peu de dire aimer, Elvire, je l'adore; Ma paffion s'oppofe à mon refentiment,

Dedans mon ennemi je trouve mon amant,
Et je fens qu'en depit de toute ma colére,
Rodrigue dans mon cœur combat encore mon pére.
Ill'attaque, il le preffe, il céde, il fe défend,
Tantôt fort, tantôt foible, et tantôt triomphant;
Mais en ce dur combat de colére et de flame,
Il déchire mon cœur fans partager mon ame,
Et quoique mon amour ait fur moi de pouvoir,
Je ne confulte point pour fuivre mon devoir.
Je cours fans balancer où mon honneur m'oblige;
Rodrigue m' eft bien cher, fon interêt m'afflige,
Mon cœur prend fon parti; mais malgré fon effort,
Je fai ce que je fuis, et que mon père est mort.

Not lefs when the objects are different than when the fame, are means fometimes afforded to gratify both paffions; and fuch means are greedily embraced. In Taffo's Gerufalem, Edward and Gildippe, hufband and wife, are introduced


fighting gallantly against the Saracens : Gildippe receives a mortal wound by the hand of Soliman : Edward inflamed with revenge, as well as concern for Gildippe, is agitated between the two different objects. The poet * describes him endeavouring to gratify both at once, applying his right hand against Soliman, the object of his refentment, and his left hand to fupport his wife, the object of his love.


The influence of passion with respect to our perceptions, opinions, and belief.

Onfidering how intimately our perceptions, paffions, and actions, are connected, it would be wonderful if they fhould have no mutual influence. That our actions are too much influenced by paffion, is a known truth; but it is not lefs certain, though not fo commonly observed, that paffion hath also an influence upon our perceptions, opinions, and belief. For example, the opinions we form of men and things, are generally directed by affection: an advice given by a man of figure, hath great weight; the fame advice from one in a low condition, is utterly ne

*Canto 20. ft. 97.


glected a man of courage under-rates danger; and to the indolent, the flightest obstacle appears unfurmountable.

This fubject is of great ufe in logic; and of ftill greater use in criticism, by ferving to explain feveral principles of the fine arts that will be unfolded in the course of this work. Being too extensive to be treated here at large, fome curfory illustrations muft fuffice; leaving the fubject to be profecuted more particularly afterward when occafion fhall offer.

There is no truth more univerfally known, than that tranquillity and fedatenefs are the proper ftate of mind for accurate perception and cool deliberation; and for that reafon, we never regard the opinion even of the wifeft man, when we discover prejudice or paffion behind the curtain. Paffion, as obferved above, (page 111.), has fuch influence over us, as to give a falfe light to all its objects. Agreeable paffions prepoffefs the mind in favour of their objects, and difagreeable paffions, not lefs against their objects: a woman is all perfection in her lover's opinion, while in the eye of a rival fhe is awkward and difagreeable to a zealot every one of his own fect is a faint, while the most upright of a different fect, are to him children of perdition. Nor will this furprise any one who is acquainted with the world in any degree: our opinions, the refult frequently of various and complicated views, are generally

generally fo flight and wavering, as readily to be fufceptible of a bias from paffion.

With this natural bias another circumftance concurs, to give passion an undue influence upon our opinions and belief; and that is a strong tendency in our nature to juftify our paffions as well as our actions, not to others only, but even to ourfelves. This tendency is peculiarly remarkable with respect to difagreeable paffions: by its influence, objects are magnified or leffened, circumstances fupplied or fuppreffed, every thing coloured and disguised, to answer the end of juftification. Hence the foundation of felf-deceit, where a man imposes upon himself innocently, and even without fufpicion of a bias.

There are fubordinate means that contribute to pervert the judgment, and to make us form opinions contrary to truth; of which I fhall mention two that feem to be capital. Firft, It was formerly obferved *, that though ideas feldom ftart up in the mind without connection, yet that ideas which correfpond to the prefent tone of mind, are readily fuggefted by any flight connection: by this means, the arguments for a favourite opinion are always at hand, while we often fearch in vain for thofe that crofs our inclination. .Second, The mind taking delight in agreeable circumstances or arguments, is ftrongly impreffed with them; while thofe that are difagreeable

* Chap. I


are hurried over fo as fcarce to make any impreffion the fame argument, by being relished or not relished, weighs fo differently, as in truth to make conviction depend more on paffion than on reafoning. This obfervation is fully justified by experience to confine myself to a single instance, the numberless abfurd religious tenets that at different times have pestered the world, would be altogether unaccountable but for this irregular bias of paffion.

We proceed to a more pleasant task, which is, to illuftrate the foregoing obfervations by proper examples. Gratitude when warm, is often exerted upon the children of the benefactor; efpecially where he is removed out of reach by death or abfence *. The paffion in this cafe being exerted for the fake of the benefactor, requires no peculiar excellence in his children: but the practice of doing good to these children produces affection for them, which never fails to advance them in our esteem. By this means, ftrong connections of affection are often formed among individuals, upon the flight foundation now mentioned.

Envy is a paffion, which, being altogether unjuftifiable, cannot be excufed but by disguifing it under fome more plaufible name. At the fame time, no paffion is more eager than envy, to give its object a difagreeable appearance: it magnifies

* See part 1. fect. 1. of the prefent chapter.




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