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Such, as it appears to me, are the chief passions or faculties of emotion discoverable in the human mind. I submit, however, the present analysis and classification of them with some degree of diffidence; for, as far as I am aware, it is the first attempt of the kind that has ever been ventured upon; and, like other first attempts, it may perhaps be open to the charge of considerable imperfections and errors. Be this, however, as it may, it at least offers us a new key to the mind's complicated construction in one branch of its study, simplifies its machinery, and perhaps unfolds a few springs which have never hitherto been sufficiently brought into public view.
I have said that the use of the passions is to furnish us with happiness, as that of the intellectual faculties is with knowledge, and that of the faculties of volition with freedom. But from the survey thus far taken, it must be obvious to every one, that the passions furnish us with misery as well as with happiness. And it may, perhaps, become a question with many, whether the harvest of the former be not more abundant than that of the latter. We cannot, therefore, close this subject better than by briefly inquiring whether the passions produce happiness at all? Whether, allowing the affirmative, they produce more happiness than misery, and whether the present constitution of things would be improved if those that occasionally produce misery were to be banished from the list?
Supposing, by a decree of the Creator, all the mental passions were to be eradicated from the human frame, and nothing were to remain to it but a sense of corporeal pain and pleasure,—what would be the consequence under the present state of things, with this single alteration ? Man would cease to be a social being; the sweet ties of domestic life would be cut asunder; the pleasures of friendship, the luxury of doing good, the fine feeling of sympathy, the sublimity of devotion, would be swept away in a moment. The world would become an Asphaltites, a dead and stagnant sea, with a smooth unruffled calm, more hideous than the roughest tempest. No breeze of hope or fear, of desire or emulation, of love or gayety, would play over it: the harmony of the seasons would be lost upon us, and the magnificence of the creation become a blank. The wants and gratifications of the body might insti. gate us, perhaps, to till the soil, to engage in commerce and mechanical pur. suits, and to provide a generation to succeed us. And, if literature should exist at all, a few cold and calculating philosophers might spin out their dull fancies upon abstract speculations, and a few Lethean poets write odes upon indifference; but all would be selfish and solitary. The master-tie would be snapped ; the spiritus rector would be evaporated, and every man would be a stranger to every man.
To a state of being thus torpid and monotonous, let us now grant the pleasurable passions, and withhold those that accompany or indicate uneasiness. Now, uneasiness, as I have already observed, is, in some degree or other, an essential attendant upon desire, hope, and emulation; and hence these passions must as necessarily be excluded here as under the former scheme. For a similar reason we must allow neither generosity, nor gratitude, nor compassion; for put away all sorrow and aversion, all mental pain and uneasiness, and such affections could have no scope for their exertion: they must necessarily have no existence.
But still the world would be thronged with a gay and lively troop of passions; love and transport, mirth and jollity, would revel with an uninterrupted career:--not a cloud would obstruct the laughing sunshine; and man would drink his full from the sea of pleasure, and intoxicate himself without restraint.
But how long would this scene of ecstasy continue ? Under the present constitution of nature, not a twelvemonth. In less than a year, the world, in respect to its inhabitants, would cease to exist: worn out by indulgence, and destroyed for want of those very uneasinesses, those pains and sorrows, those aversions and hatreds, which, when skilfully intermixed and directed, like wholesome but unpalatable medicines, chiefly contribute to its moral health; and form the best barriers against that misery and ruin, which, when superfi
cially contemplated, they seem expressly intended to produce; but which man must be obnoxious to in a state of imperfection and trial, and would be infinitely more so but for their presence and operation.
The sum of the inquiry, then, is, that all the passions have their use,-that they all contribute to the general good of mankind ;-and that it is the abuse of them, the allowing them to run wild and unpruned in their career, and not the existence of any of them, that is to be lamented. While there are things that ought to be hated, and deeds that ought to be bewailed, aversion and grief are as necessary to the mind as desire and joy. It is the duty of the judgment to direct and to moderate them; to discipline them into obedience, and attune them to harmony. The great object of moral education is to call forth, instruct, and fortify the judgment upon this important science; to let it feel its own power, and accustom it to wield the sceptre intrusted to it with dexterity and steadiness. Where this is accomplished, the violent passions can never show themselves—they can have no real existence; for we have already produced evidence that they are nothing more than the simpler affections, discordantly associated or raised to an improper pitch. Where this is accomplished, the sea of life will, for the most part, be tranquil and sober,not from indifference or the want of active powers, but from their nice balance and concord; and if, in the prosecution of the voyage, the breeze should be fresh, it will be still friendly, and quicken our course to the desired haven. Finally, wherever this is accomplished, man appears in his true dignity-he has achieved the great point for which he was created, and visions of unfading glory swell before him, as the forthcoming reward of his present triumph
ON THE LEADING CHARACTERS AND PASSIONS OF SAVAGE AND CIVILIZED LIFE.
In the preceding lecture but one, I stated, as may, perhaps, be remembered by many of the audience before me, that of the numerous and complicated facul. ties which form the nice mechanism of the human mind, sometimes one, sometimes another, and sometimes several in conjunction, appear peculiarly active and prominent, and acquire a mastery over the rest; and that such effect is, in different instances, the result of different causes, as peculiarity of temperament, peculiarity of climate, or peculiarity of local or national habits and associations. Let us pursue this subject, and make it a groundwork for the present lecture.
All violent passions are evil, or, in other words, produce, or tend to produce unhappiness : for evil and unhappiness are only commutable terms. There is no proposition in morals that admits of clearer.proof. Some violent passions are evil intrinsically; others as extremes of those that are good; and all of them as refractory and hostile to the legitimate control of the understanding. For happiness, as we had lately occasion to prove, is a state of discipline; and is only to be found, in any considerable degree of purity and permanency (without which qualities it is unworthy of the name), in a regulated and harmonious mind; where reason is the charioteer, and reins, and guides, and moderates the mental coursers in the great journey of life, with a firm and masterly hand.
It may, hence, be supposed, that the greatest degree of violence and unhappiness to be met with any where, is among savages ; since, unquestionably, it is here that the traces of discipline are most feeble and obscure. And such, in fact, is the concurrent opinion of moralists and civilians. But it is an opinion which should be given with some degree of hesitation. It is true so far as the simpler passions, and especially those of the selfish class, are concerned,-passions which are more or less common to all countries and con
ditions; but civil life has passions peculiar to itself, and passions, too, of peculiar force and obstinacy, that
Grow with its growth, and strengthen with its strength,
which no system of internal discipline seems at all times capable of moderating ; which, in too many instances, we behold defying, with equal contumacy, all the laws of religion and morality; and, consequently, introducing into the world pains and penalties, mischiefs and miseries, which the tribes of barbarous and uncultivated nature, amid all their evils, know nothing of.
To a certain extent, it is, however, probable, that the common opinion is correct, and that the greatest portion of violence and wretchedness is to be met with in savage life.
Now what are the passions that are chiefly brought into action, in this low and lamentable state of existence ? Let us take a brief survey of them,-it may prove an interesting inquiry,--and examine the changes they undergo, and the new affections they give rise to, as man emerges from chaos to order, from the gloom of ignorance to the light of civilization, orality, and science.
One common character runs through savages of every kind. The empire of the heart is divided between two rival deities or rather demons-Selfishness and Terror. The chief ministers of the first are lust, hatred, and revenge; the chief ministers of the second are cruelty, credulity, and superstition. Look through the world, and you will find this description apply to barbarians of every age and country.
It is equally the history of Europeans and Africans; of the Pelasgi, who were the progenitors of the Greeks, and of the Celts and Scythians, the successive progenitors of the English. All the discoveries of modern circumnavigators confirm the assertion; and though the captivating names of Friendly and Society Islands have been given to two distinct groups in the vast bosom of the Pacific Ocean, and the inhabitants in several of them have made some progress in the first rudiments of civilization and government, there is not a people or a tribe to be met with, who are yet in a savage state, that are not still slaves to these debasing and tyrannical passions. The gentleness of courtship, or rather the first proof of affection, among the savages of New South Wales, consists in watching the beloved fair one of another tribe to her retirement, and then knocking her down with repeated blows of a club or wooden sword. After which impressive and elegant embrace, the matrimonial victim is dragged, streaming in her blood, to the lover's party, and obliged to acknowledge herself his wife. Cannibalism, in times of war, is still common to several of the islands; human immolation to most of them. It was at the bloody shrine of revenge that Captain Cook fell a sacrifice in Owhyee, one of the best informed and most disciplined of all the islands ; nor has any one, perhaps, who ever read the interesting history of Prince Leé Boo, forgotten the delight he manifested at St. Helen's, on discovering a bed of groundsel, which he immediately converted to an article of food. All of them believe in magic-are the dupes of priestcraft and witchcraft-and in carving images of their deities, seem to think they can never represent them under figures sufficiently terrific and disgusting.
The simple but violent passions, then, common to mankind in savage life, are selfishness, lust, hatred, revenge, terror, cruelty, credulity, and superstition. These are differently modified, as well as combined with other passions according to the force of collateral circumstances, as the dulness of vivacity of the intellectual faculties, the warmth or frigidity of the climate, the tameness or picturesque grandeur of the scenery, and the political constitution and habits of the people. Let us see how far this remark is supported by history.
From the cap or caf of the Caucasus descended those streams of adventurers that, under the names of Getes, Goths, Scythians, and Scandinavians, overran all the north of Europe, and progressively spread themselves from the Caspian Sea to the Thames. Born in the midst of snows, brought up in
conquest ; a, cant difficulties and dangers; their only lust that of battle and
the midst of perils, and stretching their barren track from lake to lake, and from mountain to mountain, through the wildest, the boldest, the sublimest, and most fearful line of country that indents the face of the old world, they caught the gloomy grandeur that surrounded them ; exchanged the love of women for the love of war; and carried fierceness and terror into the whole of their political institutions, their sullen ritual, and their mythology. They neither gave nor would consent to receive quarter; their highest honour being to fall in battle, and their deepest disgrace to sink into the grave by a natural death. They had their heaven, but it was only for heroes ; and they denomináted it Valhalla, or the hall of slaughter. They had also their hell, but it was only for those who died at home, and who, as they taught, were immediately conveyed to it, and tormented for ever, for their cowardice, with hunger, thirst, and misery of every kind. This audacious contempt of death, and burning desire to enter the hall of their ferocious gods, is correctly described by Lucan, who calls it a happy error-felicis errore suo.
We here meet with all the passions I have enumerated as characteristic of savage life, but modified and peculiarly directed by local circumstances, which at the same time gave birth to other passions equally fierce and violent.
Nerved by nature with a firm, robust constitution, and nursed in the midst of cliffs and cataracts, and torrents and tempests, they drank in courage and independence with every breath of air; their only delight was the gloomy one of hunting
their only fear that of being thought cowards on earth, and being shut out from the hall of slaughter in heaven. To adopt once more the language of Lucan, and follow up his correct description, which, nevertheless, before a mixed audience I must endeavour to give in our own tongue,
In error bless'd, beneath the polar star,
Spendthrifts of life, that must return again. * The natural passions of cruelty, hatred, and revenge seem to have remained untouched, and the whole character of the heart concurred in giving a terrible enthusiasm to their superstition. Patriotism they had none, for they had no country; and they only so far sacrificed their personal liberty, and concentrated themselves into tribes and clans, with leaders of limited authority at their head, as they found best calculated to give success to their lawless en terprises. And hence the origin of the feudal system, and the first rude efforts towards a basis of government and civilization in northern Europe.
Let us contrast this picture with one of a different kind.
Seated in an early period of the world in the vicinity of these ferocious mountaineers, but at the sonthern foot of the Caucasus, instead of at its summit, we behold another set of barbarians, who progressively spread themselves into the softer regions of the south and west, under the names of Gomerians or Cymerians, and Čelts. Their patronymic appellation sufficiently proves them to have been the sons of Gomer, and gives them à near connexion with the tribes we have just noticed. The country which formed their cradle was the finest part of Asia Minor, a country that has been regarded in all ages as the garden of the world. Soft, tepid airs; a rich, productive soil, that scarcely demanded cultivation; plains and sloping hills extending in every direction; and covered with fattening verdure; fountains interspersed, and meandering rivers; banks blossoming with the choicest flowers, and suffused with the sweetest odours; the refreshing foliage of deep umbrageous woods; and over all the blue and cloudless canopy of the skies, diffusing light, and laughter
* Certe populi, quos despicit Arctus
Phars. Lib. i. 458.
and benevolence, seemed labouring with happy concert to subjugate the rugged feelings of the savage heart, and attune it to harmony and peace. Nor was the magic force exerted in vain. The agreeable ideas hereby excited, prompted them, in their migrations, to seek, as far as they were able, for regions of a similar character; and the growing impulse of internal pleasure thus derived from external beauty gave a new direction to their mental powers. Selfish lust softened gradually into social love; the activity of a sportive fancy subdued the gloomy dictates of cruelty and revenge; the Gorgon form of fear gave place to the young radiance of hope ; and superstition dropped her circlet of snakes, and half listened to the soothing song of reason and of truth.
In proof of this, it is only necessary to mention that they spread themse ves from the headspring of the Danube, or Ister, as it was formerly called, to the mouth of the Tagus, and peopled in their progress Phrygia, so celebrated for its dithyrambic music and vigorous dance; the Troad, or country of Troy, ages ago
Married to immortal verse;
Thrace, of scarcely less distinction than Troy; Hungary, the greater part of Germany, Gaul, Italy, Spain, and the British islands; sometimes confining themselves to small independent tribes, and sometimes, as in the warmer regions more especially, sinking_conjointly into subjugation, under one ambitious and powerful chieftain. Different local circumstances diversified their general character; but for the most part we find them equally courteous and courageous, faithful to their engagements, hospitable to strangers, full of patriotism, loyalty, and domestic virtue; and let me add, it is to the quarter I am now speaking of that the Greeks were indebted not only for their Phrygian music, which formed their most enthusiastic and maddening movements, as I have just observed, but also for their Lydian, which formed its opposite, and was equally adapted to quell the cares and fury of the breast, and melt it into feelings of tenderness and affection. It is under this description Dryden speaks of it in his Ode to Alexander's Feast
Softly sweet in Lydian measures
And thus a greater than Dryden, in his well-known poem, entitled L’Allegro
And ever against eating cares
Such, in most parts of the world, has been the effect of climate and surrounding scenery. But there is another cause, and a still more powerful one, that ought not to be omitted in the consideration of national character: and that is the government and habits of a people.
These may, in the first instance, be produced by accident; they may be the result of the cause already adverted to; but, when once formed and established, they lay a much firmer basis for public feeling and conduct than can be derived from any physical impulse whatever.
Persia had at one time as much reason as Macedonia to boast of her military hardihood and heroism; and, under the guidance of Cyrus, is well known to have overrun all Egypt and Asia Minor, taken Bahylon, and destroyed the Assyrian empire. But her government was at that time most excellent; her code of laws full of wisdom; her administration of justice exemplary; and her morals the simplest and most correct in the Pagan world. Her youth, from the age of seven to that of seventeen, were allowed no other food than bread and