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jollity is moderate and decent, serious people are so much the more delighted, as it dissipates the gloom with which they are commonly oppressed, and gives them an unusual enjoyment.
From this influence of cheerfulness, both to communicate itself, and to engage approbation, we may perceive that there is another set of mental qualities, which, without any utility or any tendency to farther good, either of the community or of the possessor, diffuse a satisfaction on the beholders, and procure friendship and regard. Their immediate sensation to the person possessed 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 arises towards the person who communicates so much satisfaction. He is a more animating spectacle: his presence diffuses over us more serene complacency and enjoyment: our imagination, entering into his feelings and disposition, is affected in a more agreeable manner, than if a melancholy, dejected, sullen, anxious temper were presented to us. Hence the affection and approbation which attend the former; the aversion and disgust with which we regard the latter.
Few men would envy the character which Cæsar gives of Cassius:
He loves no play,
As thou dost, Antony: he hears no music:
As if he mocked himself, and scorned his spirit
Not only such men, as Cæsar adds, are commonly dangerous, but also, having little enjoyment within themselves, 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 representation, which a French writer gives of the situation of his own mind in this particular: 'Vi tue I love,' says he, without austerity, pleasure without effeminacy, and life without fearing its end.'
Who is not struck with any signal instance of greatness of mind or dignity of character; with elevation of sentiment, disdain of slavery, and with that noble pride and spirit which arises from conscious virtue? The sublime, says Longinus, is often nothing but the echo or image of magnanimity: and where this quality appears in any one, even though a syllable be not uttered, it excites our applause and admiration; as may be observed of the famous silence of Ajax in the Odyssey, which expresses more noble disdain and resolute indignation than any language can convey.
'Were I Alexander,' said Parmenio, 'I would accept of these offers made by Darius.'- So would I too,' replied Alexander, 'were I Parmenio.' This saying is admirable, says Longinus, from a like principle.
'Go!' cries the same hero to his soldiers, when they refused to follow him to the Indies, 'go, tell your countrymen, that you left Alexander completing the conquest of the world.' 'Alexander,' said the Prince of Condé, who always admired this passage, 'abandoned by his soldiers among barbarians not yet fully subdued, felt in himself such dignity and right of empire, that he could not believe it possible that any one would refuse to obey him. Whether in Europe or in Asia, among Greeks or Persians, all was indifferent to him: wherever he found men, he fancied he should find subjects.' The confidant of Medea in the tragedy recommends
caution and submission; and, enumerating all the distresses of that unfortunate heroine, asks her, what she has to support her against her numerous and implacable enemies? 'Myself,' replies she; 'Myself, I say, and it is enough.' Boileau justly recommends this passage as an instance of true sublime.
When Phocion, the modest and gentle Phocion, was led to execution, he turned to one of his fellow-sufferers, who was lamenting his own hard fate, 'Is it not glory enough for you,' says he, 'that you die with Phocion?'
Place in opposition the picture which Tacitus draws of Vitellius, fallen from empire, prolonging his ignominy from a wretched love of life, delivered over to the merciless rabble; tossed, buffeted, and kicked about; constrained, by their holding a poniard under his chin, to raise his head, and expose himself to every contumely. What abject infamy! what low humiliation! Yet even here, says the historian, he discovered some symptoms of a mind not wholly degenerate. To a tribune who insulted him, he replied, 'I am still your emperor.'
We never excuse the absolute want of spirit and dignity of character, or a proper sense of what is due to one's self in society, and the common intercourse of life. This vice constitutes what we properly call meanness, when a man can submit to the basest slavery, in order to gain his ends, fawn upon those who abuse him, and degrade himself by intimacies and familiarities with undeserving inferiors. certain degree of generous pride or self-value is so requisite, that the absence of it in the mind displeases, after the same manner as the want of a nose, eye, or any of the most material features of the face, or members of the body.-An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals.
3. Of the Association of Ideas.
It is evident, that there is a principle of connection between the different thoughts or ideas of the mind, and that, in their appearance to the memory or imagination, they introduce each other with a certain degree of method and regularity. In our more serious thinking or discourse, this is so observable, that any particular thought, which breaks in upon the regular tract or chain of ideas, is immediately remarked and rejected. And even in our wildest and most wandering reveries, nay, in our very dreams, we shall find, if we reflect, that the imagination ran not altogether at adventures, but that there was still a connection upheld among the different ideas which succeeded each other. Were the loosest and freest conversation to be transcribed, there would immediately be observed something which connected it in all its transitions. Or where this is wanting, the person who broke the thread of discourse might still inform you, that there had secretly revolved in his mind a succession of thought, which had gradually led him from the subject of conversation. Among different languages, even when we cannot suspect the least connection or communication, it is found, that the words expressive of ideas the most compounded, do yet nearly correspond to each other; a certain proof that the simple ideas comprehended in the compound ones were bound together by some universal principle, which had an equal influence on all mankind.
Though it be too obvious to escape observation, that different ideas are connected together, I do not find that any philosopher has attempted to enumerate or class all the principles of association; a subject, however, that seems worthy of curiosity. To me there appear to be only three
principles of connection among ideas, namely, resemblance, contiguity in time or place, and cause or effect.
That these principles serve to connect ideas, will not, I believe, be much doubted. A picture naturally leads our thoughts to the original. The mention of one apartment in a building naturally introduces an inquiry or discourse with the others; and if we think of a wound, we can scarcely forbear reflecting on the pain which follows it. But that this enumeration is complete, and that there are no other principles of association except these, may be difficult to prove to the satisfaction of the reader, or even to a man's own satisfaction. All we can do, in such cases, is to run over several instances, and examine carefully the principle which binds the different thoughts to each other, never stopping till we render the principle as general as possible. The more instances we examine, and the more care we employ, the more assurance shall we acquire, that the enumeration which we form from the whole is complete and entire.-An Enquiry concerning the Human Understanding.
4. On the Origin of Ideas.
NOTHING, at first view, may seem more unbounded than the thought of man; which not only escapes all human power and authority, but is not even restrained within the limits of nature and reality. To form monsters and join incongruous shapes and appearances, costs the imagination no more trouble than to conceive the most natural and familiar objects. And while the body is confined to one planet, along which it creeps with pain and difficulty, the thought can in an instant transport us into the most distant regions of the universe, or even beyond the universe, into