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CLASSIFICATION of the Passions according to their characteristic differences.


The efficient CAUSES of the Passions, Emotions, and Affections examined.

THE Affections and Passions, to which the circumstances stated in the preceding chapter, give rise, are not only extremely numerous, but like their exciting causes, they are so connected and intermixed, that to arrange them in a lucid order, would be almost as impracticable as to form a regular path through the Hercynian Wood. Very few of the passions or affections are perfectly simple; some are extremely complex. Their complexities are so various, that it is almost impossible to restore each to its appropriate place; and the most opposite affections are so intermixed, that it is very difficult to assign to each its due share of influence.

In this labyrinth, an attention to the follow

ing facts may perhaps furnish us with something of a clue.

Some of our passions and affections are inspired by circumstances which more immediately relate to OURSELVES, and to our own personal interests; that is, they belong to the principle of Self-love: Some of them belong to the SOCIAL PRINCIPLE, and refer to our connections with our own species, or to all animated


In some of our Passions and Affections, the ideas of GOOD are obviously predominant, in others the ideas of EVIL.

The Passions and Affections, which relate to Self-love, and are excited by the idea of a Good, may either refer to the good which is actually in our possession, and communicate various degrees of enjoyment, from simple gratification to ecstasies; or

The good we love may not be in our possession; but it may appear attainable, and become the object of our Desire; or

Though it be not in our possession, circumstances may appear highly favourable to our attaining it, and it may thus inspire Hope.

The state in which Evil is the predominant idea, referring to ourselves, may relate;


To the loss of that good which we possessed, or to disappointments respecting the good we desired, and hoped to obtain; inspiring Sorrow, with its various modifications; or

We may be apprehensive concerning the loss of what we possess; concerning the approach of some positive evil; or concerning the accomplishment of our desires, which introduces the family of Fear.

The cause of both sorrow and fear may be some Agent, whose designed conduct, or even whose inadvertency, may threaten or produce injuries, and thus excite Anger, in various degrees.

The causes and excitements of our passions and affections respecting OTHERS, may also be arranged under the predominancy of Good, or Evil in our ideas.

Under the former head may BENEVOLENCE be placed, which will indicate itself either by good Wishes, or good Opinions; each productive of a large diversity of affections and passions, according to contingent circumstances.

The predominance of Evil in our ideas will shew itself in actual MALEVOLENCE of disposition concerning another; or in a DISPLACENCY and disapprobation of their conduct.

The above sketch seems to indicate a plan of investigation which, upon the whole, is the least confused and embarrassing. It is founded upon the remarks which have been made, concerning the grand propensity of human beings to seek felicity; upon the ideas of Good and Evil, either relating to themselves or others; and it seems to comprehend most of those contingent circumstances which surround us.

That the idea of Good, is most prevalent in the diverse kinds of gratification; in the pursuit of various objects of desire; in the indulgence of hope; and in benevolent dispositions, no one will dispute: and that the idea of Evil, is prevalent in malevolence and displacency, is no less evident. It will also be obvious, upon a moment's consideration, that as the love of good may produce Hatred to what is inimical to it, thus in the affections and passions correspondent with this principle, the primary and influential idea is that of suffering. In sorrow, when we grieve for the loss of what we love, it is the privation which immediately presents itself to the mind, and the hatred of this privation is the efficient cause of sorrow. In fear the apprehension of impending evil takes the lead in our minds, though this evil may virtually consist in being deprived of

some good. In anger, the evil intended or perpetrated, is the direct incitement to wrath, and we expatiate, with so much eagerness upon all the circumstances of aggravation, that we cannot allow ourselves, at the first instant, to dwell upon the attributes or qualities of the good thus endangered or destroyed. These instances manifest that the perception of an Evil from privation, is stronger in every instance, than our estimation of the intrinsic value of that which occasions the painful emotion.

But although these observations may suffice to justify the Order proposed, yet it is acknowledged that they are not comprehensive enough to embrace every thing relative to the passions. There is a class of emotions, in which distinct ideas of good or evil are not present to the mind, and which in fact may, with equal propriety, enlist themselves under each division. They are vivid impressions, productive of effects which, strictly speaking, neither belong to the passions nor affections; and yet their presence fréquently constitutes the difference between an affection and a passion.

This enigma will be best explained, by our attention to the manner in which our ideas of those influential and operative qualities, excit


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