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F all the feelings arifing from the perception of external objects, thofe only that

arife from seeing and hearing are honoured with the name of paffion or emotion: the most pleasant feelings of tafte, or touch, or smell, aspire not to that honour. We must not however infer, that every feeling of the eye or the ear is denominated a passion or emotion. A vivid colour produces a pleafant feeling, and certain fhades of colours produce a feeling still more pleafant: fonie mufical compofitions of a low kind, raife feelings that may be put under the fame clafs. But fuch feelings are too faint to be termed paffions, or even emotions. This obfervation is intended to show the connection of the present chapter with the fine arts, which, as obferved in the introduction, are all of them calculated to give pleasure to the eye or the ear; never once condefcending to gratify any of the inferior fenfes. And hence the neceffity, in an undertaking like the prefent, of delineating the paffions and emotions with fuch accuracy as clearly to fhow the causes from which they fpring, and, in particular, to show how far they are under the influence


of the fine arts; for it will be obvious, that an artist can have no precife rule for conducting his operations, nor any certain profpect of fuccefs, if he cannot determine beforehand what impreffion his work, when finished, will make upon the


A critical work that attempts to unfold the principles of the fine arts, appears in this view to be a direct avenue to the heart of man. The inquifitive mind beginning with criticism, the most agreeable of all amusements, and finding no obftruction in its progrefs, advances far into the fenfitive part of our nature; and gains imperceptibly a thorough knowledge of the human heart, of its defires, and of every motive to action; a science which of all that can be reached by man, is to him of the greatest importance.

Upon a fubject fo comprehenfive, all that can be expected here, is a general or flight furvey: and alfo to fhorten this furvey, I propofe to handle in feparate chapters fome emotions more peculiarly connected with the fine arts. Even after this circumfcription, fo much matter comes under the prefent chapter, that, to avoid confufion, I find it neceffary to divide it into many parts and though the first of these is confined to fuch caufes of emotion or paffion as are the most common and the most general; yet upon examination I find this fingle branch fo extenfive, as to require a fubdivifion into feveral fections. Human nature is a complicated machine, and muft


be fo to answer its various purposes. The public indeed have been entertained with many fyftems of human nature that flatter the mind by their fimplicity: according to fome writers, man is entirely a felfifh being: according to others, univerfal benevolence is his duty one founds morality upon fympathy folely, and one upon utility. If any of these fyftems were copied from nature, the prefent fubject might be foon difcuffed. But the variety of nature is not fo eafily reached and for confuting fuch Utopian fystems without the intricacy of reasoning, it appears the beft method to take a furvey of human nature, and to fet before the eye, plainly and candidly, facts as they really exist.

PART. 1.

Caufes unfolded of the emotions and paffions.


Difference between emotion and passion. Caufes that are the most common and the

most general.

ductive of action.


Paffion confidered as pro

Hefe branches are fo interwoven that they cannot be handled feparately. It is a fact univerfally admitted, that no emotion nor paffion VOL. I.



ever ftarts up in the mind, without a known caufe if I love a perfon, it is for good qualities or good offices: if I have refentment against a man, it must be for fome injury he has done me : and I cannot pity any one, who is under no diftrefs of body nor of mind.

The circumstances now mentioned, if they cause or occafion an emotion or paffion, cannot be entirely indifferent; were they fo, they could not make any impreffion upon us. And we find upon ex

amination, that they are

not indifferent: look

ing back upon the foregoing examples, the good qualities or good offices that attract my love, are antecedently agreeable: if an injury did not give uneafinefs, it would not occafion refentment against the author: nor would the paffion of pity be raised by an object in diftrefs, if that object did not give pain.

What is now faid about the production of emotion or paffion, refolves into a very simple proposition, That we love what is agreeable, and hate what is difagreeable. And indeed it is evident, that a thing must be agreeable or difagreeable, before it can be the object either of love or of hatred.

This fhort hint about the causes of paffion and emotion leads us naturally to a more extenfive view of the fubject. Such is the conftitution of our nature, that upon perceiving certain external objects, we are inftantaneously conscious of pleasure or pain: a gently-flowing river, a fmooth extended plain, a fpreading oak, a tower

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ing hill, are objects of fight that raife pleafant emotions: a barren heath, a dirty marth, a rotten carcass, raife painful emotions. Of the emotions thus produced, we inquire for no other caufe but merely the prefence of the object.

The things now mentioned, raife emotions by means of their properties and qualities: to the emotion raised by a large river, its fize, its force, and its fluency, contribute each a fhare: the regularity, propriety, and convenience of a fine building, contribute to the emotion raised by it.

If external properties be agreeable, we have reafon to expect the fame from those which are internal; and accordingly power, difcernment, wit, mildness, fympathy, courage, benevolence, are agreeable in a high degree: fo foon as thefe qualities are perceived in any perfon, we inftantaneously feel pleafant emotions, without the flightest act of reflection, or of attention to confequences. It is almost unneceffary to add, that certain qualities oppofite to the former, fuch as dullness, peevishnefs, inhumanity, cowardice, occafion in the fame manner painful emotions.

Senfible beings affect us remarkably by their actions. Some actions fo foon as perceived, raise pleasant emotions in the spectator, without the least reflection; fuch as graceful motion and genteel behaviour. But as intention is a capital circumstance in human actions, it generally requires reflection to difcover their true character: 1 fee one delivering a purfe of money to another, but

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