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from the fame objects diffimilar impreffions. Exhibit the fame beautiful valley to the miser and to the poet. Elegant and lovely images arife in the poet's mind: Dryads prefide in the groves, and Naiads in the fountains. Notions of wealth feize the heart of the mifer: He computes the profits of the meadows and cornfields, and envies the poffeffor. The mind, dwelling with pleasure on these images that coincide with its present humour, or agree with the prefent paffion, embellishes and improves them. The poet, by figuring additional lawns and mountains, renders the landscape more beautiful, or more fublime; But the mifer, moved by no compaffion for woodnymphs or naiads, lays waste the foreft, changes the windings of the river into a dead canal, and purchaseth wealth at the expence of beauty. Now, as the influences of paffion govern and arrange our ideas, these, in return, nourish and pro



mote the paffion. If any object appears to us more striking and excellent than ufual, it communicates a stronger impulse, and excites a keener and more vehement defire. When the lover difcovers or fancies he discovers, new charms in the character of his mistress, if her complection glows with a softer blush, if her manner and attitude feem more engaging, his love waxes ardent, and his ardour ungovernable. Thus imaginary representations, more even than real objects, stimulate our defires, and our paffions, adminiftering fewel to themselves, are immoderately inflamed. Joy is in this manner enlivened; anger more keenly exafperated; envy burns with additional malice; and melancholy, brooding over her ideas of mifery and disappointment, is tortured with anguifh, and plunges into despair.

Thus far ambition may be invigorated, affifted meerly by a lively temperament, and a glowing imagination. Prompted by D 2


its incitements, we engage with eagernefs in the career of glory; and, with perfevering courage, undergo fatigue and encounter danger. But, though imagination may dazzle and inflame, the prudent man, in the purfuit of honours, limits his defires to objects within his reach. The most active fpirit, confined to a narrow fphere, is never defirous of unattainable glory, but is ambitious of being diftinguished in his condition. If, however, by fucceeding in inferior enterprizes, higher objects are exhibited to us, our ambition, by partial gratification, becomes more violent than before. In producing this effect, the following causes co-operate.

The temporary and accidental emotion of joy, occafioned by fuccefs, enlivens and animates the paffion upon which it depends. You love your friend; he returns unexpectedly from a long journey; your joy on his arrival heightens your affection, and you receive him with transport.


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Non ego fanius

Bacchabor Edonis: recepto

Dulce mihi furere eft amico. HOR.

The new object appearing more excellent than the former, excites a livelier appetite. To the churchman, who was meek and moderate in pursuit of inferior dignity, exhibit a mitre, and you spoil his peace.

The proximity of the object, because no intermediate ideas divert our attention, quickens and promotes the paffion. The profligate heir, who longs for the death of an avaricious father, is more eagerly impatient during his laft moments, than during the courfe of a tedious life. And the nearer the hour of affignation approaches, the heart of the lover throbs. with a keener and more intenfe defire. To thefe illuftrations the following paffage from a celebrated hiftorian, is extremely appofite: James, harraffed with his turbulent and factious fubjects, cast a "with

Ꭰ 3

* Hume.


"wifhful eye to the fucceffion of Eng

land; and, in proportion as the queen "advanced in years, his defire increased "of mounting that throne."

Succefs, as it produces vanity, invigo rates our ambition. Eminently or unexpectedly distinguished, we fancy ourselves endowed with fuperior merit, and entitled to higher honour, Alexander, after the conquest of Perfia, grew more vain and more extravagantly ambitious than before.

In this manner, by joy, by the prospect, and proximity of a more splendid object, and by vanity, all depending on partial gratification, the paffion is fwelled, and becomes exceffive, Macbeth having repelled the inroads of the islanders, and having vanquished a numerous hoft of Norvegians, is rewarded by his king, and revered by his countrymen., He rifes to unexpected honours: His ambition, foftered by imagination, and confirmed by fuccefs, becomes immoderate; And his foul, ele


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