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rit of human actions. But this can prow ceed from no other cause than the diver. fity of our feelings, and the necessity we are under of measuring the dispositions of others by our own.
Even this moral principle, though a competent judge of the virtue and propriety of human actions, is apt to mislead us in our inquiries concerning the structure and dispositions of the mind. Desirous of avoiding the rebuke of this fevere and vigilant cenfor, we are ready to extenuate every blameable quar lity, and magnify what we approve. : In order, therefore, to rectify our opi. nions, and enlarge our conceptions of the human mind, we must study its operations in the conduct and deportment of others : We must mingle in fociety, and observe the manners and characters of mankind, according as casual or unexpected incidents may furnish an opportunity, But the mind, not being an object of the external
fenses, the temper' and inclinations of others can only be known to us by figns either natural or artificial, referring us to our own internal sensations. Thus, we are exposed nearly to the same difficulties as before : We cannot at pleasure call forth the objects of our researches, nor retain them till we have examined their nature : We can know no more of the internal feelings of another than he expresses by outward signs or languages and consequently he may feel many
many emo. tions that we are unable easily to conceive. Neither can we consider human characa ters and affections as altogether indifferent to us: They are not mere objects of curiosity; they excite love or hatred, approbation or dislike. But, when the mind is influenced by these affections, and by others that often attend them, the judgment is apt to be biaffed, and the force of the principle we contemplate is increased or
diminished accordingly. The inquirer must not only beware of external difficulties, but must preserve his heart both from angry,
and from kind affection. The maxim, that all men who deliberate about doubtful matters, should divest themselves of hatred, friendship, anger, and compasfion, is as applicable in philosophy as in politics.
Since experiments, made by reflecting on our own minds, or by attending to the conduct of others, are liable to difficulty, and consequently to error ; we should embrace every aslistance that may facilitate and improve them. Were it possible, during the continuance of a violent passion, to seize a faithful impression of its features, and an exact delineation of the images it creates in us, such a valuable copy would guide the philosopher in tracing the perplexed and intricate mazes of metaphysical inquiry. By frequently examining
it, every partial consideration, and every feeling tending to mislead his opinions, would be corrected : His conception would be enlarged by discovering passions more or less vehement than his own, or by discovering tempers of a different colour. We judge of mankind by referring their actions to the passions and principles that influence our own behaviour: We have no other guide, since the nature of the passions and faculties of the mind are not discernible by the senses. however, be objected, that, according to this hypothesis, those who deduce the conduct of others from malignant passions, and those who are capable of imitating them, must themselves be malignant. The obfervation is inaccurate,
Every man, unless his constitution be defective, inherits the principles of every passion : But no man is the prey of all the passions. Some of them are so feeble in themselves, or raB 4
ther, so entirely suppressed by the ascendant of others, that they never become principles of action, nor constitute any part of the character. Hence it is the business of culture and education, by giving exercise to virtuous principles, and by rendering them habitual, to bear down their opponents, and fo gradually to weaken and wear them out. If we meafure the minds of others precifely by our own, as we have formed and fashioned them by habit and education, and make no account of feeble and decaying principles, our theories muft neceffarily be inadequate : But, by confidering the copy and portrait of minds different from our own, and by reflecting on these latent and unexerted principles, augmented and promoted by imagination, we may discover many new tints, and uncommon features. Now, that class of poetical writers that excel by imitating the passions, might