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fhips are eagerly adopted; they are ardent and fincere. This conduct may, for a time, be flattered: Our fond imaginations may heighten every trivial act of complacency into a teftimony of unfeigned esteem. And thus, deceived by delufive appearances, we become still more credulous and profufe. But the fairy vifion will foon evanish: And the novice who vainly trufted to the benevolence of mankind, will fuddenly find himself alone and defolate, in the midst of a selfish and deceitful world: Like an enchanted traveller, who imagines he is journeying through a region of delight, till he drinks of fome bitter fountain, and instantly, instead of flowery fields and meadows, he finds himself deftitute and forlorn, amid the horrors of a dreary defart.
It seems an invariable law in the conduct of our paffions, that, independent of the object they pursue, they should yield us pleasure, merely by their exercise and K operation.
operation. It is known by experience, that the pain of disappointed paffion is not folely occafioned by our being deprived of fome defirable object, but by having the current of the mind opposed; fo that the excited paffion recoils exafperated upon the heart. The anguish of this situation is ftrongly expreffed by Seneca, “In an"gufto inclufae cupiditates fine exitu se
ipfas ftrangulant." There can be no doubt, that anger, malice, and all the malevolent and irregular paffions, independent of their fatal confequences, leave the mind in a state of anxiety and disorder. One fhould therefore imagine, that fatisfaction would arife from their being repulfed, and that men would felicitate themselves for a recovery fo effential to their repose. Reafon, and felf-love may confider it in this view, and our fenfe of propriety may hinder us from complaining; but the heart is fecretly dejected, and the unbidden figh betrays us. The gloom, however,
however, is foon difperfed. Yet it proves that the mind fuffers more when its operations are suddenly suspended, than when it languifhes in a state of liftlefs inactivity. Thus, our benevolent affections, confidered merely as principles of action, partaking of the fame common nature with other paffions and affections, if their tenor is interrupted, produce anxiety.
But the peculiar character of thefe difpofitions renders the anguifh occafioned by their suspension more exquifitely painful. They are of a soft exhilarating nature, they elevate and enlarge our conceptions, they refine our feelings, they quicken our fenfibility, and ftimulate our love of pleasure: They diffuse joy and ferenity through the foul, and, by a delightful illufion, give every thing around us a finiling and enlivened afpect. To a mild and benevolent temper, even inanimate objects, the beauties of nature, the fkies, the groves, and the fountains, comK 2 municate
municate unusual pleafure, and of a quality too refined to be relished by vulgar and malignant spirits. But, proportioned to the delight annexed to the exercise of social affections, is the pain arifing from their fufpenfion.
Social affections confer happinefs, not only by the feelings they excite in us, but by procuring us the friendship and esteem of others. Adequate returns of tendernefs are effential to their exiftence. By difdain and indifference they languish; they render us anxious, and desponding.
Other advantages lefs immediate, and which concern our fortune and external circumstances, often depend on the benevolence and fincerity of our friends. For, though it is contrary to the rules of prudence, and the maxims of the world, to repofe fuch entire confidence in the virtue of mankind as to render it poffible for them to injure or ruin us; yet there are cafes of Arong neceffity that mock referve; and
there are inftances of men so unfuspecting, or fo improvident, as to allow themselves, by exceffive facility, to be over-reached and undone.
The disappointments of social affection may give us uneafiness of another kind: They may offend against the good opinion we are apt to entertain of ourselves; a principle rivetted in our conftitution, useful and neceffary in itself, but, by difpofing us to overweening conceit, liable to be perverted.
Pain and uneasiness give rife to forrow; and forrow varies according to the fources from which it flows: It is either gentle and languishing, or imbittered with rancour and animofity.
When the uneafinefs arifes from the fudden and untoward fufpenfion of our emotions, or from the disappointment of fome ardent affection, it is of a mild and dejected nature. It may difpofe us to remonftrate, but not to inveigh. It is moK 3