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his unreasonable partialities in favour of himself, and to act agreeably to what he conceives to be the fentiments of impartial fpectators. But I cannot help thinking, that the fact is much too strongly stated with respect to the natural partiality of self-love, supposing the fituation of our neighbours to be as completely prefented to our view, as our own muft of neceffity be. When the Orator wishes to combat the selfish paffions of his audience, and to roufe them to a sense of what they owe to mankind; what mode of perfuafion does nature dictate to him? Is it to remind them of the importance of the good opinion of the world, and of the neceffity, in order to obtain it, of accommodating their conduct to the fentiments of others, rather than to their own feelings? Such confiderations undoubtedly might, with fome men, produce a certain effect; and might lead them to affume the appearance of virtue; but they would never excite a fentiment of indignation at the thought of injustice, or a fudden and involuntary burft of difinterested affection. If the Orator can only fucceed in fixing their attention to facts, and in bringing these facts home to their imagination by the power of his eloquence, he has completely attained his object. No fooner are the facts apprehended, than the benevolent principles of our nature display themselves in all their beauty. The moft cautious and timid lofe, for a moment, all thought of themselves, and defpifing every confideration of prudence or of fafety, become wholly engroffed with the fortunes of others.

Many other facts, which are commonly alledged as proofs of the original selfishness of mankind, may be LI 2

explained,

explained, in part, in a fimilar way; and may be traced to habits of inattention, or to a want of imagination, arifing, probably, from fome fault in early education.

What has now been remarked with refpect to the focial principles, may be applied to all our other paffions, excepting those which take their rife from the body. They are commonly ftrong in proportion to the warmth and vigour of the imagination.

It is, however, extremely curious, that when an imagination, which is naturally phlegmatic, or which, like thofe of the vulgar, has little activity from a want of culture, is fairly roufed by the defcriptions of the Orator or of the Poet, it is more apt to produce the violence of enthusiasm, than in minds of a fuperior order. By giving this faculty occafional exercife, we acquire a great degree of command over it. As we can withdraw the attention at pleasure from objects of fenfe, and tranfport ourselves into a world of our own, fo when we wish to moderate our enthusiasm, we can difmifs the objects of imagination, and return to our ordinary perceptions and occupations. But in a mind to which thefe intellectual vifions are not fatniliar, and which borrows them completely from the genius of another, imagination, when once excited, becomes perfectly ungovernable, and produces fomething like a temporary infanity. Hence the wonderful effects of popular eloquence on the lower orders; effects which are much more remarkable, than what it ever produces on men of education.

SEC.

SECTION V.

Continuation of the fame Subje&.-Inconveniences refulting from an ill-regulated Imagination.

was undoubtedly the intention of Nature, that the I objects of perception fhould produce much stronger impreffions on the mind than its own operations. And, accordingly, they always do fo, when proper care has been taken in early life to exercise the different principles of our conftitution. But it is poffible, by long habits of folitary reflexion, to reverse this order of things, and to weaken the attention to fenfible objects to fo great a degree, as to leave the conduct almost wholly under the influence of imagination. Removed to a diftance from fociety, and from the purfuits of life, when we have been long accustomed to converfe with our own thoughts, and have found our activity gratified by intellectual exertions, which afford fcope to all our powers and affections, without expofing us to the inconveniences refulting from the bustle of the world, we are apt to contract an unnatural predilection for meditation, and to lose all interest in external occurrences. In fuch a fituation too, the mind gradually loses that command which education, when properly conducted, gives it over the train of its ideas; till at length the most extravagant dreams of imagination acquire as powerful an influence in exciting all its paffions, as if they were realities. A wild and mountainous country, which presents but a limited variety of objects, and 113 thefe

thefe only of fuch a fort as "awake to folemn "thought," has a remarkable effect in cherishing this enthusiasm.

When fuch disorders of the imagination have been long confirmed by habit, the evil may perhaps be beyond a remedy; but in their inferior degrees, much may be expected from our own efforts; in particular, from mingling gradually in the bufinefs and amufements of the world; or, if we have fufficient force of mind for the exertion, from refolutely plunging into thofe active and interefting and hazardous fcenes, which, by compelling us to attend to external circumftances, may weaken the impreffions of imagination, and strengthen those produced by realities. The advice of the poet, in these cafes, is equally beautiful and just :

"Go, foft enthusiast! quit the cypress groves, "Nor to the rivulet's lonely moanings tune

"Your fad complaint. Go, feek the cheerful haunts
"Of men, and mingle with the bustling crowd;

"Lay schemes for wealth, or power, or fame, the wish
"Of nobler minds, and push them night and day.
"Or join the caravan in queft of scenes
"New to your eyes, and shifting every hour,
"Beyond the Alps, beyond the Appenines.
"Or, more adventurous, rush into the field
"Where war grows hot; and raging through the sky,
"The lofty trumpet fwells the madd'ning foul;
"And in the hardy camp and toilfome march,
"Forget all fofter and lefs manly cares *.”

* Armstrong.

The

The difordered state of mind to which these obfervations refer is the more interefting, that it is chiefly incident to men of uncommon fenfibility and genius. It has been often remarked, that there is a connexion between genius and melancholy; and there is one fense of the word melancholy, in which the remark is undoubtedly true; a fenfe which it may be difficult to define, but in which it implies nothing either gloomy or malevolent. This, I think, is not only confirmed by facts, but may be inferred from fome principles. which were formerly ftated on the fubject of invention; for as the difpofition now alluded to has a tendency to retard the current of thought, and to collect the attention of the mind, it is peculiarly favourable to the discovery of thofe profound conclufions which refult from an accurate examination of the lefs obvious relations among our ideas. From the fame principles too, may be traced fome of the effects which fituation and early education produce on the intellectual character. Among the natives of wild and foli tary countries we may expect to meet with fublime exertions of poetical imagination and of philofophical research; while thofe men whofe attention has been diffipated from infancy amidst the bustle of the world, and whofe current of thought has been trained to yield and accommodate itself, every moment, to the rapid fucceffion of trifles, which diverfify fashionable life, acquire, without any effort on their part, the in

* Δια τι πάντες όσοι περιττοι γεγονασιν ανδρες, η κατα φιλοσοφίαν, η πολιτικής, η ποίησιν, η τέχνας, φαίνονται μελαγχολικοι οντες,

ARISTOT. Problem. fect. xxx.

tellectual

L14

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