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emotion in constant exercise, which by degrees introduces a habit, and confirms the authority of virtue: with respect to education in particular, what a spacious and commodious avenue to the heart of a young person is here opened!
The relations between objects productive of emotions and passions-The relation between a being and its qualities-The relation between a principal and its accessories-The effect of veneration for relics-The respect and esteem which great men command, transferred to their dress, &c.-Hatred extends to all connections-These emotions properly termed secondary, being produced by primary antecedent emotions-The power of self-love-Family connectionsFriendship produces hatred towards the enemy of our friend-Slight connections not favorable to the communication of passion-Exceptions to this-The influence of order in the communication of passion-The two exceptions-The effect of marriage in obstructing the affections-One passion generated by another without a change of the object.
In the first chapter it is observed, that the relations by which things are connected, have a remarkable influence on the train of our ideas. I here add, that they have an influence, no less remarkable, in the production of emotions and passions. Beginning with the former, an agreeable object makes every thing connected with it appear agreeable; for the mind, gliding sweetly and easily through related objects, carries along the agreeable properties it meets with in its passage, and bestows them on the present object, which thereby appears more agreeable than when considered apart. This reason may appear obscure and metaphysical, but the fact is beyond all dispute. No relation is more intimate than the relation between a being and its qualities: and accordingly, every quality in a hero, even the slightest, makes a greater figure than more substantial qualities in others. The propensity of carrying along agreeable properties from one object to another, is sometimes so vigorous as to convert defects into properties: the wry neck of Alexander was imitated by his courtiers as a real beauty, without intention to flatter: Lady Piercy, speaking of her husband Hotspur,
-By his light
And speaking thick, which Nature made his blemish,
Such proneness has the mind to this communication of properties, that we often find a property ascribed to a related object, of which naturally it is not susceptible. Sir Richard Grenville in a single ship, being surprised by the Spanish fleet, was advised to retire. He utterly refused to turn from the enemy; declaring, "he would rather die, than dishonor himself, his country, and her Majesty's ship." Hakluyt, vol. ii. part ii. p. 169. To aid the communication of properties in instances like the present, there always must be a momentary personification: a ship must be imagined a sensible being, to make it susceptible of honor or dishonor. In the battle of Mantinea, Epaminondas being mortally wounded, was carried to his tent in a manner dead: recovering his senses, the first thing ne inquired about was his shield; which being brought, he kissed it as the companion of his valor and glory. It must be remarked, that among the Greeks and Romans it was deemed infamous for a soldier to return from battle without his shield.
Became the accents of the valiant:
For those who could speak slow and tardily,
Second Part, Henry IV. Act II. Sc. 6.
The same communication of passion obtains in the relation of principal and accessory. Pride, of which self is the object, expands itself upon a house, a garden, servants, equipage, and every accessory. A lover addresses his mistress's glove in the following terms: Sweet ornament that decks a thing divine.
Veneration for relics has the same natural foundation; and that foundation with the superstructure of superstition, has occasioned much blind devotion to the most ridiculous objects-to the supposed milk, for example, of the Virgin Mary, or the supposed blood of St. Janivarius.* * A temple is in a proper sense an accessory of the deity to which it is dedicated: Diana is chaste, and not only her temple, but the very icicle which hangs on it, must partake of that property:
The noble sister of Poplicola,
The moon of Rome; chaste as the icicle
That's curdled by the frost from purest snow,
Coriolanus, Act V. Sc. 3.
Thus it is, that the respect and esteem, which the great, the powerful, the opulent, naturally command, are, in some measure, communicated to their dress, to their manners, and to all their connections: and it is this communication of properties, which, prevailing, even over the natural taste of beauty, helps to give currency to what is called the fashion.
By means of the same easiness of communication, every bad quality in an enemy is spread upon all his connections. The sentence pronounced against Ravaillac for the assassination of Henry IV. of France, ordains, that the house in which he was born should be razed to the ground, and that no other building should ever be erected on that spot. Enmity will extend passion to objects still less connected. The Swiss suffer no peacocks to live, because the Duke of Austria, their ancient enemy, wears a peacock's tail in his crest. A relation more slight and transitory than that of enmity, may have the same effect: thus the bearer of bad tidings becomes an object of aversion:
Fellow, begone; I cannot brook thy sight;
King John, Act III. Sc. 1.
Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news
Second Part, Henry IV. Act I. Sc. 3.
In borrowing thus properties from one object to bestow them on another, it is not any object indifferently that will answer. The
But why worship the cross which is supposed to be that upon which our Savior suffered? That cross ought to be the object of hatred, not of veneration. If it be urged, that as an instrument of Christ's suffering it was salutary to mankind, I answer, Why is not also Pontius Pilate reverenced, Caiphas the high priest, and Judas Iscariot?
object from which properties are borrowed, must be such as to warm the mind and enliven the imagination. Thus the beauty of a mistress, which inflames the imagination, is readily communicated to a glove, as above mentioned; but the greatest beauty of which a glove is susceptible, touches the mind so little, as to be entirely dropped in passing from it to the owner. In general, it may be observed, that any dress upon a fine woman is becoming; but that ornaments upon one who is homely, must be elegant indeed to have any remarkable effect in improving her appearance.*
The emotions produced as above may properly be termed secondary, being occasioned either by antecedent emotions or antecedent passions, which in that respect may be termed primary. And to complete the present theory, I must add, that a secondary emotion may readily swell into a passion for the accessory object, provided the accessory be a proper object for desire. Thus it happens that one passion is often productive of another: examples are without number; the sole difficulty is a proper choice. I begin with self-love, and the power it has to generate love to children. Every man, beside making part of a greater system, like a comet, a planet, or a satellite only, has a less system of his own, in the centre of which he represents the sun darting his fire and heat all around; especially upon his nearest connections: the connection between a man and his children, fundamentally that of cause and effect, becomes, by the addition of other circumstances, the completest that can be among individuals; and therefore self-love, the most vigorous of all passions, is readily expanded upon children. The secondary emotion they produce by means of their connection, is sufficiently strong to move desire, even from the beginning; and the new passion swells by degrees, till it rivals, in some measure, self-love, the primary passion. To demonstrate the truth of this theory, I urge the following argument. Remorse for betraying a friend, or murdering an enemy in cold blood, makes a man even hate himself: in that state, he is not conscious of affection to his children, but rather of disgust or ill-will. What cause can be assigned for that change, other than the hatred he has to himself, which is expanded upon his children. And if so, may we not, with equal reason, derive from self-love, some part, at least, of the affection a man generally has to them?
The affection a man bears to his blood-relations, depends partly on the same principle: self-love is also expanded upon them; and the communicated passion is more or less vigorous in proportion to the degree of connection. Nor does self-love rest here it is, by the force of connection, communicated even to things inanimate: and hence the affection a man bears to his property, and to every thing he calls his own.
Friendship, less vigorous than self-love, is, for that reason, less
A house and gardens surrounded with pleasant fields, all in good order, bestow greater lustre upon the owner than at first will be imagined. The beauties of the former are, by intimacy of connection, readily communicated to the latter; and if it have been done at the expense of the owner himself, we naturally transfer to him whatever of design, art, or taste, appears in the performance. Should not this be a strong motive with proprietors to embellish and improve their fields?
apt to communicate itself to the friend's children, or other relations. Instances, however, are not wanting of such communicated passion. arising from friendship when it is strong. Friendship may go higher in the matrimonial state than in any other condition; and Otway, in Venice Preserved, takes advantage of that circumstance: in the scene where Belvidera sues to her father for pardon, she is represented as pleading her mother's merits, and the resemblance she bore to her mother:
Priuli. My daughter!
Belvidera. Yes, your daughter by a mother
Belvidera. Lay me, I beg you, lay me By the dear ashes of my tender mother: She would have pitied me, had fate yet spar'd her. Venice Preserved, Act V. Sc. 1. This explains why any meritorious action, or any illustrious qualification, in my son or my friend, is apt to make me over-value myself: if I value my friend's wife or son upon account of their connection with him, it is still more natural that I should value myself upon account of my connection with him.
Friendship, or any other social affection, may, by changing the object, produce opposite effects. Pity, by interesting us strongly for the person in distress, must consequently inflame our resentment against the author of the distress: for, in general, the affection we have for any man, generates in us good-will to his friends, and illwill to his enemies. Shakspeare shows great art in the funeral oration pronounced by Antony over the body of Cæsar. He first endeavors to excite grief in the hearers, by dwelling upon the deplorable loss of so great a man: this passion, interesting them strongly in Cæsar's fate, could not fail to produce a lively sense of the treachery and cruelty of the conspirators-an infallible method to inflame the resentment of the people beyond all bounds:
Antony. If you have tears, prepare to shed them now
The first time ever Cæsar put it on;
'Twas on a summer's evening, in his tent,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitor's arms, Quite vanquish'd him; then burst his mighty heart; And, in his mantle muffling up his face, Which all the while ran blood, great Cæsar fell, Even at the base of Pompey's statue. O what a fall was there, my countrymen! Then I and you, and all of us, fell down, Whilst bloody treason flourish'd over us. O, now you weep; and I perceive you feel The dint of pity; these are gracious drops. Kind souls! what! weep you when you but behold Our Cæsar's vesture wounded? look you here! Here is himself, marr'd, as you see, by traitors. Julius Cæsar, Act III. Sc. 6. Had Antony endeavored to excite his audience to vengeance, with out paving the way by raising their grief, his speech would not have made the same impression.
Hatred, and other dissocial passions, produce effects directly opposite to those above mentioned. If I hate a man, his children, his relations, nay his property, become to me objects of aversion: his enemies, on the other hand, I am disposed to esteem.
The more slight and transitory relations are not favorable to the communication of passion. Anger, when sudden and violent, is one exception; for, if the person who did the injury be removed out of reach, that passion will vent itself against any related object, however slight the relation be. Another exception makes a greater figure: a group of beings or things, becomes often the object of a communicated passion, even where the relation of the individuals to the percipient is but slight. Thus, though I put no value upon a single man for living in the same town with myself; my townsmen, however, considered in a body, are preferred before others. This is still more remarkable with respect to my countrymen in general: the grandeur of the complex objects swells the passion of selflove by the relation I have to my native country; and every passion, when it swells beyond its ordinary bounds, has a peculiar tendency to expand itself along related objects. In fact, instances are not rare, of persons, who upon all occasions are willing to sacrifice their lives and fortunes for their country. Such influence upon the mind of man has a complex object, or, more properly speaking, a general term.*
The sense of order has influence in the communication of passion It is a common observation, that a man's affection to his parents is less vigorous than to his children: the order of nature in descending to children, aids the transition of the affection: the ascent to a parent, contrary to that order, makes the transition more difficult. Gratitude to a benefactor is readily extended to his children; but not so readily to his parents. The difference, however, between the natural and inverted order, is not so considerable, but that it may be balanced by other circumstances. Plinyt gives an account of a woman of rank condemned to die for a crime; and, to avoid public shame, detained in prison to die of hunger: her life being prolong.
* See Essays on Morality and Natural Religion, part 1. ess. 2. ch. 5. + Lib. 7. cap. 36.