Imatges de pÓgina
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velty soon degenerates into familiarity; and the unexpectedness of an object is soon sunk in the pleasure that the object affords. Fear, which is a passion of greater importance as tending to self-preservation, is often instantaneous; and yet is of equal duration with its cause : nay, it i equently subsists after the cause is removed.

In the next place, a passion founded on a peculiar propensity, subsists generally for ever; which is the case of pride, envy, and malice: objects are never wanting to inflame the propensity into a passion.

Thirdly, it may be laid down as a general law of nature, That every passion ceases upon attaining its ultimate end. To explain that law, we must distinguish between a particular and a general end. I call a particular end what may be accomplished by a single act: a general end, on the contrary, admits acts without number: because it cannot be said, that a general end is ever fully accomplished, while the object of the passion subsists. Gratitude and revenge are examples of the first kind: the ends they aim at may be accomplished by a single act; and, when that act is performed, the passions are necessarily at an end. Love and hatred are examples of the other kind í desire of doing good or doing mischief to an individual, is a general end which admits acts without number, and which seldom is fully accomplished : therefore these passions have frequently the same duration with their objects.

Lastly, it will afford us another general view, to consider the difference between an original propensity, and affection or aversion produced by custom. The former adheres too close to the constitution ever to be eradicated; and for that reason, the passions to which it gives birth, continue during life with no remarkable diminution. The latter, which owe their birth and increment to time, owe their decay to the same cause : affection and aversion deVol. I.

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cay gradually as they grow; and accordingly hatred as well as love are extinguished by long absence. Affection decays more gradually between persons, who, living together, have daily occasion to testify mutually their goodwill and kindness : and, when affection is decayed, habit supplies its place; for it makes these persons necessary to each other, by the pain of separation.* Affection to children hath a long endurance, longer perhaps than any other affection: its growth keeps pace with that of its objects: they display new beauties and qualifications daily, to feed and augment the affection. But whenever the affection becomes stationary, it must begin to decay; with a slow pace, indeed, in proportion to its increment. In short, man with respect to this life is a temporary being : he grows, becomes stationary, decays; and so must all his powers and passions.

PART IV.

CO-EXISTENT EMOTIONS AND PASSIONS.

For a thorough knowledge of the human passions and emotions, it is not sufficient that they be examined singly and separately: as a plurality of them are sometimes felt at the same instant, the manner of their co-existence, and the effects thereby produced, ought also to be examined. This subject is extensive: and it will be difficult to trace all the laws that govern its endless variety of cases : if such an undertaking can be brought to perfection, it must

* See chapter xiv.

be by degrees. The following hints may suffice for a first attempt.

We begin with emotions raised by different sounds, as the simplest case. Two sounds that mix, and, as it were, incorporate before they reach the ear, are said to be concordant. That each of the two sounds, even after their union, produceth an emotion of its own, must be admitted: but these emotions, like the sounds that produce them, mix so intimately, as to be rather one complex emotion than two emotions in conjunction. Two sounds that refuse incorporation or mixture, are said to be discordant: and when heard at the same instant, the emotions produced by them are unpleasant in conjunction, however pleasant separately.

Similar to the emotion raised by mixed sounds is the emotion raised by an object of sight with its several qualities: a tree, for example, with its qualities of colour, figure, size, &c. is perceived to be one object; and the emotion it produceth is rather one complex emotion than different emotions combined.

With respect to co-existent emotions produced by different objects of sight, it must be observed, that however intimately connected such objects may be, there cannot be a concordance among them like what is perceived in some sounds. Different objects of sight, meaning objects that can exist each of them independent of the others, never mix nor incorporate in the act of vision : each object is perceived as it exists, separately from others : and each raiseth an emotion different from that raised by the other. And the same holds in all the causes of emotion or passion that can exist independent of each other, sounds only excepted.

To explain the manner in which such emotions exist, similar emotions must be distinguished from those that are

dissimilar. Two emotions are said to be similar, when they tend each of them to produce the same tone of mind : cheerful emotions, however different their causes may be, are similar: and so are those which are melancholy. Dissimilar emotions are easily explained by their opposition to what are similar: pride and humility, gaiety and gloominess, are dissimilar einotions.

Emotions perfectly similar, readily combine and unite,* so as in a manner to become one complex emotion; witness the emotions produced by a number of flowers in a parterre, or of trees in a wood. Emotions that are opposite, or extremely dissimilar, never combine or upite : the mind cannot simultaneously take on opposite tones : it cannot at the same instant be both joyful and sad, angry and satisfied, proud and bumble: dissimilar emotions may succeed each other with rapidity, but they cannot exist simultaneously.

Between these two extremes, emotions unite more or less in proportion to the degree of their resemblance, and the degree in which their causes are connected. Thus the emotions produced by a fine landscape and the singing of birds, being similar in a considerable degree, readily unite, though their causes are little connected. And the same happens where the causes are intimately connected, though the emotions themselves have little resemblance to each other; an example of which is a mistress in distress, whose beauty gives pleasure, and her distress pain: these two emotions, proceeding from different views of the object, have very little resemblance to each other ; and yet so intimately connected are their causes, as to force them into a sort of complex emotion, partly pleasant, partly painful. This clearly explains some expressions common in poetry, a sweet distress, a pleasant pain.

* It is easier to conceive the manner of co-existence of similar emotions than to describe it. They cannot be said to mix or incorporate, like concordant sounds: their union is rather of agreement or concord; and therefore I have chosen the words in the text, not as sufficient to express clearly the manner of their co-existence, but only as less liable to excepition than any other I can find.

It was necessary to describe with some accuracy, in what manner similar and dissimilar emotions co-exist in the mind, in order to explain their different effects, both internal and external. This subject, though obscure, is capable to be set in a clear light; and it merits attention, not only for its extensive use in criticism, but for the nobler purpose of decyphering many intricacies in the actions of men. Beginning with internal effects, I discover two, clearly distinguishable from each other, both of them produced by pleasant emotions that are similar ; of which, the one may be represented by addition in numbers, the other by harmony in sounds. Two pleasant emotions that are similar, readily unite when they are co-existent; and the pleasure felt in the union, is the sum of the two pleasures : the same emotions in succession, are far from making the same figure; because the mind, at no instant of the succession, is conscious of more than a single emotion. This doctrine may aptly be illustrated by a landscape comprehending hills, valleys, plains, rivers, trees, &c.: the emotions produced by these several objects, being similar in a high degree, as falling in easily and sweetly with the same tone of mind, are in conjunction extremely pleasant. This multiplied effect is felt from objects even of different senses, as where a landscape is conjoined with the music of birds and odour of flowers; and results partly from the resemblance of the emotions and partly from the connexion of their causes : whence it follows, that the effect must be the greatest where the causes are intimately connected and the emotions perfectly similar. The same rule is obviously applicable to painful emotions that are similar and co-exisient.

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