Imágenes de páginas


Of the social Passions.

As it is a divided sympathy which renders the whole set of passions just now mentioned, upon most occasions, so ungraceful and disagreeable; so there is another set opposite to these, which a redoubled sympathy renders almost always peculiarly agreeable and becoming. Generosity, humanity, kindness, compassion, mutual friendship and esteem, all the social and benevolent affections, when expressed in the countenance or behaviour, even towards those who are not peculiarly connected with ourselves, please the indifferent spectator upon almost every occasion. His sympathy with the person who feels those passions exactly coincides with his concern for the person who is the object of them. The interest, which, as a man, he is obliged to take in the happiness of this last, enlivens his fellow-feeling with the sentiments of the other, whose emotions are employed about the same object. We have always, therefore, the strongest disposition to sympathize with the benevolent affections. They appear in every respect agreeable to

We enter into the satisfaction both of the person who feels them, and of the person who is the object of them. For as to be the object of hatred and indignation gives more pain than all the evil which a brave man can fear from his enemies; so there is a satisfaction in the consciousness of being beloved, which, to a person of delicacy and sensibility, is of more importance to happiness, than all the who is endowed with it as a prey to the perfidy and ingratitude of insinuating falsehood, and to a thousand pains and uneasinesses, which, of all men, he the least deserves to feel, and which generally too he is, of all men, the least capable of supporting. It is quite otherwise with hatred and resentment. Too violent a propensity to those detestable passions, renders a person the object of universal dread and abhorrence, who, like a wild beast, ought, we think, to be hunted out of all civil society.



Of the selfish Passions.

BESIDES those two opposite sets of passions, the social and unsocial, there is another which holds a sort of middle place between them: is never either so graceful as is sometimes the one set. nor is ever so odious as is sometimes the other. Grief and jov, when conceived upon account of our own private good or bad fortune, constitute this third set of passions Even when excessive, they are never so tisagreeable as excessive resentment, because no opposite sympathy can ever interest us against them: and when most suitable to their objects, they are never so agreeable as impartial humanity and just benevolence: because no double sympathy can ever interest is for them. There is, however, this diference between grief and joy. that we are generally most disposed to sympathize with small joys and great sotowS. Tie man who, by some sudden revolution of fortune, is lifted up all at once into a condition of life reatly above what he had törmerly lived in, may be assured that the congratulations of his best friends are not al of them perfecdy sincere. An upstart. thonch of the greatest merit is generally disagreeable, and a sentiment of envy commonly prevents us from heartily sympathizing with his joy. If he has any judgment he is sensible of this, and instead of appearing to be elated with his good fortune, he endeavours, as much as he can to smother his joy, and keep down that elevation of mind with which his new circumstances naturally inspire him. He affects the same plainness of dress, and the same modesty of behaviour, which became him in his former station. He redoubles his attention to his old friends, and endeavours more than ever to be humble, assiduous, and complaisant. And this is the behaviour which in his situation we most approve of; because we expect, it seems, that he should have more sympathy with our envy and aversion to his happiness, than we have to his happiness. It is seldom that with all this he succeeds. We suspect the sincerity of his humility, and he grows weary of this constraint. In a little time, therefore, he generally leaves all his old friends behind him, some of the meanest of them excepted, who may perhaps, condescend to become his dependants: nor does he always acquire any new ones; the pride of his new connections is as much affronted at finding him their equal, as that of his old ones had been by his becoming their superior: and it requires the most obstinate and persevering modesty to atone for this mortification to either. He generally grows weary too soon, and is provoked, by the sullen and suspicious pride of the one, and by the saucy contempt of the other, tó treat the first with neglect, and the second with petulance, till at last he grows habitually insolent, and for feits the esteem of all. If the chief part of human happiness arises from the consciousness of being beloved, as I believe it does, those sudden changes of fortune seldom contribute much to happiness. He is happiest who advances more gradually to greatness, whom the public destines to every step of his preferment long before he arrives at it, in whom, upon that account, when it comes, it can excite no extravagant

joy, and with regard 22 su i cam TNT: create either any j33015y ist ik mis m any eny in those be leares Inc.

Mankind bowerer, Dire ready stomatit Titi. those smaller jers uwch bus from ir mamar. causes. It is decret to be as TERCE perity; but we can sart CIENS IN MuS sasiartion in all the the OC Taras id commun. lit. the compass rs WKH KE San be evenng list nigbt, in the enter TE TE sa djur E. L what was said and * TA :. I al mi: istant Dir cidents of the prestit COTESHOW wł 1. al II frivolous Dottines actes de Tui e imilt Nothing is more gratis achterulle which is always findee Duliar reist. He al the little pleasures i 01.1960 wrurens ar ford. We reall suize Efs 15 with the same jus, 200 makes there tift zui u us in the same agreta de apoishia itself to the person endoned was bent espulse tion. Hence it is ta puth € side a so easily engages our aferdits. That rense 1: joy which seems eren 16 20 3€ luom. alii ib sparkle from the eyes of hudut rust in a person of the same 5€ I eta, eta de 29+3.20 2 more jorous mood than or sai. Tuet forget live time, their inlirmides, and standa tenisches 10 those agreeable ideas ad eat.** #burt 19 have long been strangers, but when the presence of so much tarpiness reras temu 10 ha breast, take their place tere, like oid a quina.2. from whom they are sorry is € ett bern parti

« AnteriorContinuar »