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8. When the soul applies itself to the perfor.n. ance of any action, or the conception of any objects: to which it is not accustomed, there is a certain un.) pliableness in the faculties; and a difficulty of the spirits moving in their new direction. As this difficulty excites the fpirits, it is the source of wonder, furprize, and of all the emotions, which arise froin novelty; and is, in itself, agreeable, like every thing which enlivens the mind to a moderate degree. But though surprize be agreeable in itself, yet, as it puts the spirits in agitation, it not only augments our agreeable affections, but also our painful, according to the foregoing principle. Hence every thing that is new, is most affecting, and gives us either more pleasure or pain, than what, strictly speaking, should naturally follow from it. When it often returns upon us, the novelty wears off; the passions subside; the hurry of the spirits is over; and we survey the object with greater tranquillity.
9. The imagination and affections have a close union together. The vivacity of the former gives force to the latter. Hence the prospect of any pleasure, with which we are acquainted, affects us more than any other pleasure, which we may own superior, but of whose nature we are wholly ignorant. Of the one we can form a particular and determinate idea : The other we conceive under the general notion of pleasure.
Any satisfaction, which we lately enjoyed, and of which the memory is fresh and recent, operates on the will with more violence, than another of which the traces are decayed and alınost obliterated.
A pleasure, which is suitable to the way of life, in which we are engaged, excites more our desire and appetite than another, which is foreign to it.
Nothing is more capable of infusing any passion into the mind, than eloquence, by which objects are represented in the strongest and most lively colours. The bare opinion of another, especially P2
when enforced with passion, will cause an idea to have an influence upon us, though that idea might otherwise have been entirely neglected. · It is remarkable, that lively passions commonly attend a lively imagination. In this respect, as well as in others, the force of the passion depends as much on the temper of the person, as on the nature and situation of the object. - What is diftant, either in place or time, has not equal influence with what is near and contiguous. * *
* * . I pretend not to have here exhausted this subject. It is sufficient for my purpose, if I have made it appear, that, in the production and conduct of palsions, there is a certain regular mechanism, which is susceptible of as accurate a disquisition, as the laws of motion, optics, hydrostatics, or any part of natural philosophy. .
Of the GeneraL PRINCIPLES of MORALS.
be exponists; the ind falsehoo
DISPUTES with men, pertinaciously obstinate in their principles, are, of all others, the most irksome; except, perhaps, those with persons, entirely disingenuous, who really do not believe the opinions they defend, but engage in the controversy, from affectation, from a spirit of oppofition, or from a desire of showing wit and ingenuity, superior to the rest of mankind. The same blind adherence to their own arguments is to be expected in both; the same contempt of their antagonists; the fame passionate vehemence, in infarcing fophiftry and falsehood. And as reasoning is not the source, whence either disputant derives his tenets ; it is in vain to expect, that any logic, which speaks not to the affections, will eyer engage him to embrace founder principles,
Those who have denied the reality of moral distinctions, may be ranked among the difingenuous disputants; nor is it conceivable, that any human creature' could ever seriously believe, that all characters and actions were alike entitled to the affection and regard of every one. The difference, which nature has placed between one man and another, is so wide, and this dif