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every bad quality, and fixes on the most humbling circumstances;
Calius. I cannot tell what you and other men
Did lose its luftre; I did hear him grone :
should So get the start of the majestic world, And bear the palm alone.
Julius Cæfar, act 1. fc. 3.
Glo'ster inflamed with resentment against his fon Edgar, could even force himself into a momentary conviction that they were not related :
O strange faften'd villain !
I never got him.
King Lear, at 2. fc. 3.
When by great sensibility of heart, or other means, grief swells beyond what the cause can justify, the mind, in order to justify itself, is prone to magnify the cause : and if the real cause admit not of being magnified, the mind seeks a cause for its grief in imagined future events:
Busby. Madam, your Majesty is much too fad :
Queen. To please the King, I did ; to please myself,
Some unborn forrow, ripe in Fortune's womb,
Richard II. act 2. fc. 5:
Refentment at first is vented on the relations of the offender, in order to punish him: but as resentment, when fo outrageous, is contrary to conscience, the mind, to justify its passion, is disposed to paint these relations in the blackest colours; and it actụally comes to be convinced, that they ought to be punished for their own demerits.
Anger raised by an accidental stroke upon a tender part of the body, is sometimes vented upon the undesigning cause. But as the paffion in this case is absurd, and as there can be no folid gratification in punishing the innocent, the mind, prone to justify as well as to gratify its passion, deludes itself instantly into a conviction of the action’s being voluntary. This conviction however is but momentary: the first reflection shows it to be erroneous; and the paffion vanisheth almost instantaneously with the conviction. But anger, the most violent of all paffions, has still greater influence: it sometimes forces the mind to personify a stock or a stone when it occasions bodily pain, and even to believe it a voluntary agent, in order to be a proper object of resentment. And that we have really
a momentary conviction of its being a voluntary agent, must be evident from considering, that without such conviction, the passion can neither be justified nor gratified: the imagination can give no aid; for a stock or a stone imagined sensible, cannot be an object of punishment, so long as the mind is conscious that it is an imagination merely without any reality. Of such personification, involving a conviction of reality, there is one illustrious instance: when the first bridge of boats over the Hellespont was destroy'd by a storm, Xerxes fell into a transport of rage, so exčessive, that he commanded the sea to be punished with 300 stripes; and a pair of fetters to be thrown into it, injoining the following words to be pronounced : “ O thou salt and bitter water !
thy master hath condemned thee to this punish
ment for offending him without cause; and is “ resolved to pass over thee in despite of thy in“ folence : with reason all men neglect to sacri« fice to thee, because thou art both disagreeable and treacherous *."
Shakespear exhibits beautiful examples of the irregular influence of passion in making us believe things to be otherwise than they are : King Lear, in his distress, personifies the rain, wind, and thunder ; 'and in order to justify his resentment, believes them to be taking part with his daughters :
• Herodotus, book 7.
Lear. Rumble thy belly-full, spit fire, spout rain ! Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire, are my daughters. I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness; I never gave you kingdoms, call'd you children; You owe me no subscription. Then let fall Your horrible pleasure.- Here I stand, your brave; A poor, infirm, weak, and despis'd old man! But yet I call you servile ministers, Thát have with two pernicious daughters join'd Your high-engender'd battles, 'gainst a head So old and white as this. Oh! oh! 'tis foul.
Aet 3. fc. 2.
King Richard, full of indignation against his favourite horse for carrying Bolingbroke, is led into the conviction of his being rational:
Groom. O, how it yearn’d my heart, when I beheld In London streets, that coronation-day, When Bolingbroke rode on Roan Barbary, That horse that thou fo often haft bestrid, That horse that I so carefully have dress’d.
K. Rich. Rode he on Barbary? tell me, gentle friend How went he under him?
Grcom. So proudly as he had disdain’d the ground.
K. Rich. So proud that Bolingbroke was on his back! That jade had eat bread from my royal hand. This hand hath made him proud with clapping him. Would he not stumble ? would he not fall down, (Since pride must have a fall), and break the neck Of that proud man that did usurp his back?
Richard II. a£t 5. fc. 11.
Hamlet, swelled with indignation at his niother's