Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

page 182

220

P ART111. Of the Foundation of our Judgments concerning

our own Sentiments and Conduct, and of the

Sense of Duty.. CHAP. I. Of the Principle of Self-approbation and

of Self-difupprobation. CHAP. II. Of the love of Praise, and of that of

Praise-worthiness ; and of the dread of Blame, and of that of Blame-worthiness.

188 Ç:1AP. III. Of the Influence and Authority of Con

science. CHAP. IV. Of the Nature of Self - deceit, and of the Origin and Use of general Rules.

258 CHAP. V. Of the influence and authority of the ge

neral Rules of Morality, and that they are juftly regarded as the Laws of the Deity.

267 CHAP. VI. In what cases the Sense of Duty ought to

be the sole principle of our conduct; and in what cases it ought to concur with other motives. 285

P A R T IV. . Of the EFFECT of UTILITY upon the Sentiment

of Approbation. CHAP. I. of the beauty which the appearance of

UTILITY bestows upon all the productions of art, and

of the extensive influence of this species of Beauty. 300 CHAP. II. Of the beauty which the appearance of

Ulility beftoivs upon the characters and actions of men ; and how far the perception of this beauty may be regarded as one of the original principles of approbation,

315

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

OF

[ocr errors]

SYM PATH Y: How selfish foever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it. Of this kind is pity or compassion, the emotion which we feel for the misery of others, when we either see it, or are made to conceive it in a very lively VOL. I.

B

manner.

That we often derive sorrow from the sorrow of others, is a matter of fact too obvious to require any instances to prove it; for this sentiment, like all the other original passions of human nature, is by no means confined to the virtuous and humane, though they perhaps may feel it with the most exquisite sensibility. The greatest ruffian, the most hardened violator of the laws of fociety, is not altogether without it.

As we have no immediate experience of what other men feel, we can form no idea of the manner in which they are affected, but by conceiving what we ourselves should feel in the like situation. Though our brother is upon the rack, as long as we ourselves are at our ease, our senses will never inform us of what he suffers. They never did , and never can, carry us beyond our own person, and it is by the imagination only that we can form any conception of what are his sensations. Neither can that faculty help us to this any other way,.. than by representing to us what would be our own, if we were in his case. It is the impressions of our own senfes only, not those of his, which our imaginations copy. By the imagination we place ourselves in his situation, we conceive ourselves enduring all the same torments, we enter as it were into his body, and become in fume measure the same person with him, and thence form fome idea of his sensations, and even feel fomething which, though weaker in degree, is not altogether unlike them. His agonies, when they are thus brought home to ourselves, when we have

1

thus adopted and made them our own, begin at last to affect us, and we then tremble and fhudder at the thought of what he feels. For as to be in pain or distress of any kind excites the most excellive forrow, fo to conceive or to imagine that we are in it, excites some degree of the same emotion, in proportion to the vivacity or dulness of the conception

That this is the source of our fellow-feeling for the misery of others, that it is by changing places in fancy with the sufferer, that we come either to conceive or to be affected by what he feels, may be demonstrated by many obvious observations, if it should not be thought sufficiently evident of itself. When we fee a stroke aimed and just ready to fall upon the leg or arm of another person, we naturally shrink and draw back owr own leg or our own arm; and when it does fall, we feel it in some measure, and are hurt by it as well as the sufferer. The mob, when they are gazing at a dancer on the slack rope, naturally writhe and twist and balance their own bodies, as they see him do, and as they feel that they themselves must do if in his situation. Persons of delicate fibres and a weak constitution of body complain, that in looking on the fores and ulcers which are exposed by beggars in the streets, they are apt to feel an itching or uneasy sensation in the correspondent part of their own bodies. The horror which they conceive at the misery of those wretches affects that particular part in themselves more than any other ; because that horror arises from conceiving what

B2

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »