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every bad quality, and fixes on the most humbling circumstances;
Caffius. I cannot tell what you and other men
In awe of fuch a thing as I myself.
And bid him follow; fo indeed he did.
Did from the flames of Troy upon his fhoulder
The old Anchifes bear; fo from the waves of Tyber
and this man
Did I the tired Cæfar:
He had a fever when he was in Spain,
And when the fit was on him, I did mark
How he did shake. Tis true, this god did fhake;
Did lofe its luftre; I did hear him grone:
Julius Cæfar, act 1. fc. 3.
Glo'fter inflamed with refentment against his fon Edgar, could even force himself into a momentary conviction that they were not related:
When by great fenfibility of heart, or other means, grief fwells beyond what the caufe can justify, the mind, in order to justify itself, is prone to magnify the caufe: and if the real cause admit not of being magnified, the mind feeks a caufe for its grief in imagined future events:
Busby. Madam, your Majefty is much too fad:
And entertain a chearful difpofition.
Queen. To please the King, I did; to please myself, I cannot do it. Yet I know no caufe
Why I should welcome fuch a guest as grief;
Some unborn forrow, ripe in Fortune's womb,
Refentment at firft is vented on the relations of the offender, in order to punish him: but as refentment, when fo outrageous, is contrary to confcience, the mind, to justify its paffion, is disposed to paint thefe relations in the blackest colours; and it actually 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 fometimes vented upon the undesigning cause. But as the paffion in this cafe is abfurd, and as there can be no folid gratification in punishing the innocent, the mind, prone to juftify as well as to gratify its paffion, deludes itself instantly into a conviction of the action's being voluntary. This conviction however is but momentary: the firft reflection shows it to be erroneous; and the paffion vanifheth almost instantaneously with the conviction. But anger, the most violent of all paffions, has ftill greater influence: it fometimes forces the mind to perfonify a ftock or a ftone when it occafions bodily pain, and even to believe it a voluntary agent, in order to be a proper object of refentment. And that we have really
a momentary conviction of its being a voluntary agent, must be evident from cónfidering, that without fuch conviction, the paffion can neither be juftified nor gratified: the imagination can give no aid; for a stock or a stone imagined fenfible, cannot be an object of punishment, fo long as the mind is confcious that it is an imagination merely without any reality. Of fuch perfonification, involving a conviction of reality, there is one illustrious inftance: when the first bridge of boats over the Hellefpont was destroy'd by a ftorm, Xerxes fell into a transport of rage, fo exceffive, that he commanded the fea 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 falt and bitter water! (6 thy master hath condemned thee to this punish(( ment for offending him without caufe; and is "refolved to pass over thee in defpite of thy in"folence with reafon all men neglect to facri"fice to thee, because thou art both difagreeable "and treacherous *."
Shakespear exhibits beautiful examples of the irregular influence of paffion in making us believe things to be otherwise than they are: King Lear, in his diftrefs, perfonifies the rain, wind, and thunder; 'and in order to justify his refentment, believes them to be taking part with his daughters:
Herodotus, book 7.
Lear. Rumble thy belly-full, fpit fire, fpout rain !
That have with two pernicious daughters join'd
Act 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 horfe that thou fo often haft beftrid, That horse that I fo carefully have drefs'd.
K. Rich. Rode he on Barbary? tell me, gentle friend How went he under him?
Groom. 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 ufurp his back?
Richard II. a 5. fc. 11.
Hamlet, fwelled with indignation at his mother's