« PoprzedniaDalej »
tecedently agreeable ; if an injury did not give unea siness, it would not occasion resentment against the author; nor would the passion of pity be raised by an object in distress, if that object did not give pain.
We love what is agreeable; we hate what is disagreeable. Certain external objects instantaneously give us pleasure or pain; a gently flowing river, a smooth extended plain, a spreading oak, a towering hill, are objects of sight that raise pleasant emotions ; a barren heath, a dirty marsh, a rotten carcass, raise painful emotions. Of these emotions, thus produced, we inquire for no other cause, but merely the prescnce of the object. And these things raise emotions by means of their properties and qualities, as the size, force, fluency of a river.
The internal qualities, power, discernment, wit, mildness, sympathy, courage, benevolence, are agreeable in a high degree, and instantaneously excite pleasant emotions. The opposite qualities, dullness, peevishness, inhumanity, cowardice, occasion painful emotions. Graceful motion, genteel behavior, excite pleasant emotions instantaneously. This true character, intention, is discovered by reflection. A purse given in discharge of a debt excites less pleasure, than if given out of charity to relieve a virtuous family in want. Actions are qualified by intention, not by the event. Human actions are perceived to be right or wrong, and that perception qualifies the pleasure or pain resulting from them. Emotions also are raised in us by the feelings of our fellow-creatures. share the pain of a man in distress; in joy we partake of our neighbor's pleasure.
The recollection of actions, whether pleasant or painful, excites in us correspondent emotions. We remember with pleasure a field laid out with taste, a generous action, a gracious speech; but in this case our emotion is fainter than in the former.
Desire follows some emotions, not others. We desire to reward or to imitate a virtuous action ; a beautiful
garden, a magnificent building, may be viewed without being desired ; and we long to punish the author of a wicked deed. Inanimate objects often raise emotions accompanied by desire, as the goods of fortune; and the desire, when immoderate, obtains the name of avarice. We desire to possess a picture exposed to sale, not that in the possession of a prince.
* A passion differs from an emotion in this respect; passion follows desire, and emotion passes away without exciting any desire. By desire, we mean that internal act influencing the will, and in this respect it differs from a wish.
We proceed now to consider passion with respect to its power of producing action.
No man proceeds to action but by means of an antecedent desire or impulse; therefore, where there is no desire there is no action. This opens another distinction between emotions and passions. The former, being without desire, are in their nature quiescent; the desire included in the latter, prompts one to act in order to fulfil that desire, in other words, to gratify passion.
The object of passion is that which excites it; a man who injures me becomes the object of my resentment. An emotion may have a cause, but not an object.
The objects of our passions are either general or particular ; fame, honor, &c. are general; a house, a garden, &c. are particular objects. The passions directed to general objects are termed appetites; directed to particular objects they retain their proper name: hence we say, an appetite for glory, the passion of friendship. A passion comes after its object has been presented, an appetite exists before it; thus the appetite of hunger is directed to food. We act calmly when moved without violent impulse; we hurry to action when inflamed by a 'strong impulse.
The actions of brutes are dictated by instinct, without any view to consequences: man is governed by reason; he acts with deliberation, his actions have an
end in view; yet are there human actions not governed by reason, nor done with any view to consequences, as in the case of infants, who are mostly governed by instinct; and even of grown persons famishing with hunger, without regard to its salutary effects. The miser converts means into an end, in accumulating 'wealth without the least view of use.
An instinctive passion impels us to act blindly without any view to consequences; it is deliberative when subject to reason, and prompting with a view to an end. Desire to bring about an end is termed a motive with respect to its power of determining one to act. Passion is the cause of instinctive actions, which have no motive, because they are done without any view to consequences.
The gratification of desire is pleasant; the foresight of that pleasure becomes often an additional motive for acting. The child eats from the impulse of hunger; a young man has the additional pleasure of gratification ; an old man, because eating contributes to health, has an additional motive.
These premises determine what passions and actions are selfish, and what social. The end ascertains the class to which they belong.
Where the end in view is my own good, they are selfish; where the end in view is the good of another, they are social. Instinctive actions are neither social nor selfish; thus eating when prompted by nature, is neither social nor selfish; but add the motive that it will contribute to my health, , and it becomes in a measure selfish. When affection moves me to act for
my friend's happiness, without regard to my own gratification, the action is social; it my own happiness be consulted, it is partly selfish. A just action prompted by the principle of duty, is neither social nor selfish ; performed with a view to the pleasure of gratification, it is selfish. Love and gratitude to a benefactor, are purely social. An action done to gratify my ambitious views, is selish. Resentment from the gratification of passion is selfish;
it is dișsocial when revenge aims at the destruction of the object. All motives to action do not then spring from self-love. Every one, however, has a direct perception of self.
Some circumstances make beings or things fit objects for desire, others not. A thing beyond our reach is not desired. No man desires to walk on the clouds, because the desire would be absurd. Where the prospect of attainment is faint, the object seldom raises strong desire. The beauty of a princess, rarely excites love in a peasant.
To what do we give the name of passion or emotion ?
ney connected ?
What is the difference between an instinctive and a deliberative passion ?
What is a motive?
What is the difference between selfish and social actions and passions ? Between these and instinctive?
Section II.—The Power of Sounds to raise Emotions and
Of all external objects, rational beings have the most powerful influence in raising emotions and passions; and as speech is the most powerful of all the means by which one human being can display itself to another, the objects of the eye must yield preference to those of the ear. Sounds may raise terror or mirth. Music in conjunction with words has a commanding influence over the mind. It commands a variety of emotions, and may be made to promote luxury and effeminacy. But with respect to its refined pleasures, music goes hand in hand with gardening and architecture, her sister arts, in humanizing and polishing the mind.
Section III.—Causes of the Emotions of Joy and Sorrow.
An emotion accompanied with desire is called a passion; when the desire is fulfilled, the passion is gratified; the gratification is pleasant, and affects us with joy. The exception is, a man stung with remorse, who desires to chastise and punish himself. The joy of gratification is called an emotion, because it makes us happy in our present situation; on the contrary, sorrow is the result of an event opposite to what we desired.
An event fortunate or unfortunate, that falls out by accident, and concerns us or our connexions, gives us joy or sorrow, according to its result. Joy arises to a great height upon the removal of any violent distress of mind or body; in no situation does sorrow rise to a greater height than upon the removal of what makes us happy. The sensibility of our nature accounts for these effects. The principle of contrast is another cause; joy arising upon the removal of pain is increased by contrast, when we reflect upon our former distress; an emotion of sorrow, upon being deprived of any good, is increased by contrast, when we reflect upon our former happiness.
Jaffier. There's not a wretch who lives on common charity
For I have known
VENICE PRESERVED.-Act I. sc. 1