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commodities, conveniencies, and pleasures of life. The bill of a banker, who is broke, or gold in a desart isand, would otherwise be full as valuable. When we approach a man, who is, as we say, at his case, we are presented with the pleasing ideas of plenty, fatisfaction, cleanliness, warmth; a chearful house, elegant furniture, ready service, and whatever is desirable in meat, drink, or apparel. On the contrary, when a poor man appears, the disagreeable images of want, penury, hard labour, dirty furniture, coarse or ragged cloaths, nauseous meat and diftasteful liquor, ima mediately strike our fancy. What else do we mean by saying that one is rich, the other poor? And as regard or contempt is the natural consequence of those different situations in life; it is easily feen what additional light and evidence this throws an our preceding theory, with regard to all moral distinctions*.
A man, who has cured himself of all ridiculous prepoffeffions, and is fully, sincerely, and steadily convinced, from experience as well as philosophy, that the difference of fortune makes less difference in happiness than is vulgarly imagined ; such a one does not measure out degrees of esteem according to the rent rolls of his acquaintance. He may, indeed, externally pay a superior deference to the great lord above the vassal; because riches are the most convenient, being the most fixed and determinate, source of distinction : But his internal sentiments are more regulated by the personal characters of men, than by the accidental and capricious favours of fortune.
In most countries of Europe, family, that is, hereditary riches, marked with titles and symbols from the sovereign, is the chief source of distinction. In England, more regard is paid to present opulence and plenty. Each practice has its advantages and
disadvantages. * See NOTE [II].
disadvantages. Where birth is respected, unactive, spiritless minds remain in haughty indolence, and dream of nothing but pedigrees and genealogies: The generous and ambitious feek honour and authority and reputation and favour. Where riches are the chief idol, corruption, venality, rapine prevail : Arts, manufactures, commerce, agriculture flourish. The former prejudice, being favourable to military virtue, is more suited to monarchies. The latter, being the chief spur to industry, agrees better with a republican government. And we accordingly find, that each of these forms of government, by varying the utility of those customs, has commonly a proportionable effect on the sentiinents of mankind.
V HOEVER has passed an evening with serious melancholy people, and has observed how suddenly the conversation was animated, and what sprightliness diffused itself over the countenance, discourse, and behaviour of every one, on the accession of a good-humoured, lively companion ; such a one will easily allow, that Chearfulness carries great merit with it, and naturally conciliates the good-will of mankind. No quality, indeed, more readily communicates itself to all around; because no one has a greater propensity to display itself, in jovial talk and pleasant entertainment. The Aame spreads through the whole circle; and the most sullen and morose are often caught by it. That the melancholy hate the merry, even though Horace says it, I have some difficulty to allow ; because I have always observed, that, where the jollity is moderate and decent, serious people are so inuch the more delighted, as it dissipates the gloom, with which they are commonly oppressed: and gives them an unusual enjoyment...
From this influence of chearfulness, both to communicate itself, and to engage approbaiicn, we may perceive, that there is another set of mental qualities, which, without any utility or
pofletter Their immend procure file a satisfać
any tendency to farther good, either of the community or of the poffeffor, diffuse a satisfaction on the beholders, and procure friendship and regard. Their immediate sensation, to the person pofseffed of them, is agreeable: Others enter into the same humour, and catch the sentiment, by a contagion or natural sympathy: And as we cannot forbear loving whatever pleases, a kindly emotion arifes towards the person, who communicates so much fatisfaction. He is a more animating spectacle: His presence diffuses over us more serene complacency and enjoyment: Our imagination, entering into his feelings and dispofition, is affected in a more agreeable manner, than if a melancholy, dejected, fullen, anxious temper were presented to us. Hence the affection and approbation, which attend the former: The averfion and disgust, with which we regard the latter *.
Few men would envy the character, which Cæfar gives of Cassius.
; He loves no play,
That could be mov'd to smile at any thing. Not only such men, as Cæsar adds, are common• Jy dangerous, but also, having little enjoyinent within themfelves, they can never become agreeable to others, or contribute to social entertainment. In all polite nations and ages, a relish for pleasure, if accompanied with temperance and decency, is esteemed a considerable merit, even in the greatest men, and becomes still more requisite in those of inferior rank and character. It is an agreeable repreitrriation, which a French