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SECTION IV.-Sympathetic Emotion of Virtue, and its Cause.
A signal act of gratitude produces in the spectator or reader, love or esteem for the author, and a desire to perform acts of gratitude, without reference to any one object. In this state the mind, wonderfully bent upon an object, neglects no opportunity to vent itself. In such a state, favors are returned double.
A courageous action produces in the spectator the passion of admiration directed to the author, and also a separate feeling, which may be called an emotion of courage, because when under its influence, he is conscious of boldness and intrepidity, and longs for proper objects upon which to exert this emotion.
So full of valor, that they smote the air
TEMPEST.-ACT IV. Sc. 1. The emotions raised by martial music are all of this nature: they have no object; so also the grief or pity raised by melancholy music is without an object. In this consists also the extreme delight every one has in the histories of conquerors and heroes.*
This singular feeling we term the sympathetic emotion of virtue: it resembles the appetites of nature, hunger, thirst, animal love, and in no case is the mind more solicitous for a proper object, than when under the influence of any of these appetites. This feeling is raised in the mind only by virtuous actions. No man has a propensity to vice as such; a wicked deed disgusts us; and this abhorrence is a strong antidote against vice, as long as any impression remains of the wicked action. This emotion bestows upon goodexample the utmost influence by prompting us to imitate what we admire; and every exercise of virtue, mental or external, leads to habit. A disposition of the mind, like a limb of the body, becomes stronger by exercise. Every person may therefore acquire a settled habit of virtue. Intercourse with men of worth, histories of generous and disinterested actions,
and frequent meditation upon them, keep the sympathetic 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 is here opened to the heart of a young person!
What are the uses of music?
What kind of events afford the greatest joy? The greatest sorrow?
What are the causes of these effects?
Give an example?
Describe the effect of an act of gratitude? Of courage? Of martial music?
What is this feeling called? How is it raised? What are its effects?
How may a settled habit of virtue be acquired?
SECTION V.-In many instances one Emotion is productive of another. The same of Passions.
The relations by which things are connected have a remarkable influence in the production of emotions and passions. An agreeable object makes every thing connected with it appear agreeable. The mind, gliding sweetly and easily through related objects, carries along the agreeable properties it meets in its passage, and bestows them on the present object, which thereby appears more agreeable than when considered apart. This propensity 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. So did the satellites of Hotspur; for which see what the Lady Piercy saith of her lord.
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. lover addresses the glove belonging to his mistress as a
Sweet ornament that decks a thing divine.
Veneration for relics has the same natural foundation. A temple is in a proper sense an accessory to the deity to which it is dedicated. Diana is chasteso is her temple, and the very icicle which hangs on it.
The noble sister of Publicola,
The moon of Rome; chaste as the icicle
CORIOLANUS.-ACT V. Sc. 3.
The respect and esteem which the great, powerful, and opulent command, give currency to what is called the fashion, in dress, manners, connexions, and taste. By the same easiness of communication, every bad quality of an enemy is spread to all its connexions. Thus the house in which Ravaillac was born was rased to the ground; the Swiss suffer no peacocks to live, because the Duke of Austria, their ancient enemy, wears a peacock's tail in his crest. Even the bearer of bad tidings, because an object of aversion, cannot escape:
Fellow, begone; I cannot brook thy sight,
Yet the first messenger of unwelcome news
SECOND PART, HENRY IV.-Act I. Sc. 1.
The object, however, from which such properties are borrowed, must be such as to warm the mind and inflame the imagination. But these emotions are secondary, being occasioned by antecedent, and primary emotions and passions. A secondary emotion may readily swell into a passion from the accessory object, provided the accessory be a proper object for desire. Thus it often happens that one passion is productive of another. Self-love generates love to children. Remorse for betraying a friend or murdering an enemy in cold blood, makes a man hate himself; in that state, he is not conscious of affection to his children, but rather
of disgust or ill-will. The hatred he has for himself, is expanded upon his children.
Self-love is expanded to blood relations, and the passion communicates itself in proportion to the degree of connexion. Self-love extends even to things inanimate, the property a man calls his own.
Friendship, less vigorous than self-love, is less apt to communicate itself to the friend's children or other relations. There are, however, instances of this.
The more slight and transitory relations are not favorable to the communication of passions. Sudden and violent anger is an exception.
The sense of order influences this passion in nature to descend from parents to children by an easy transition; 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.
Do the relations of things produce passions similar to those produced by the things themselves?
What is the origin of fashion?
Give examples of the bad qualities of an enemy spread to its
What are the emotions caused by relations called?
Give examples of one passion producing another.
What sort of relations are most favorable to the communication of passions?
SECTION VI.-Causes of the Passions of Fear and Anger.
Fear and anger, to answer the purposes of nature, operate sometimes instinctively, sometimes deliberatively, according to circumstances. Deliberatively, where reason suggests means to avoid a threatened danger. If a man be injured, the first thing he thinks of is what revenge he shall take, and what means he shall employ. These particulars are no less obvious than natural; but, as the passions of fear and anger, in their
instinctive state, are less familiar to us, it may be acceptable to the reader to have them accurately delineated. I begin with fear.
Self-preservation is not wholly left to the conduct of reason. Nature acts here with her usual foresight. Fear and anger, moving us to act instinctively, afford security when the slower operations of deliberate reason would be too late; we avoid danger by the impulse of fear, before reflection places us in safety. If my horse stumble, my hands and knees are instantly at work to prevent him from falling.
Fear provides for self-preservation by flying from harm; anger by repelling it. Where anger impels one suddenly to return a blow, the passion is instinctive; and it is chiefly in such a case that it acts blindly and ungovernably. Instinctive anger is frequently raised by pain, and a man thus beforehand disposed to anger, is not nice in giving a blow if he be touched on a tender part. The child is violently excited to crush to atoms the stone it has hit its toe against.
An instance of blind and absurd anger is finely illustrated in No. 439 of the Spectator, in a story, the dramatis persona of which are, a cardinal and a spy retained in pay for intelligence. The cardinal is represented as minuting down the particulars. The spy begins with a low voice, "Such an one, the advocate, whispered to one of his friends within my hearing, that your eminence was a very great poltroon;" and after having given his patron time to take it down, adds, "That another called him a mercenary rascal in a public conversation." The cardinal replies, "Very well," and bids him go on. The spy proceeds, and loads him with reports of the same nature, till the cardinal rises in a fury, calls him an impudent scoundrel, and kicks him out of the room.
In these examples anger appears irrational and absurd; but it was given us to prevent or repel injuries, and it is not wonderful to find it exerted irregularly and capriciously: but all the harm that can be done