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section iv: How far our several Affections and Passions are under our Power, either to govern them when raised, or to prevent their arising: with some general Observations about their Objects. - Francis Hutcheson, An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections, with Illustrations on the Moral Sense 
An Essay on the Nature and Conduct of the Passions and Affections, with Illustrations on the Moral Sense, ed. Aaron Garrett (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2002).
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How far our several Affections and Passions are under our Power, either to govern them when raised, or to prevent their arising: with some general Observations about their Objects.
Affections and Passions depend much upon Opinions.[88/89] I. From what was said above it appears, that our Passions are not so much in our Power, as some seem to imagine, from the Topicks used either to raise or allay them. We are so constituted by Nature, that, as soon as we form the Idea of certain Objects or Events, our Desire or Aversion will arise toward them; and consequently our Affections must very much depend upon the Opinions we form, concerning any thing which occurs to our Mind, its Qualities, Tendencies, or Effects. Thus the Happiness of every sensitive Nature is desired, as soon as we remove all Opinion or Apprehension of Opposition of Interest between this Being and others. The Apprehension of morally good Qualities, is the necessary Cause of Approbation, by our moral Sense, and of stronger  Love. The Cause of Hatred, is the Apprehension  of the opposite Qualities. Fear, in like manner, must arise from Opinion of Power, and Inclination to hurt us: Pity from the Opinion of another’s undeserved Misery: Shame only arises from Apprehension of Contempt from others: Joy, in any Event, must arise from an Opinion of its Goodness. Our selfish Passions in this, do not differ from our publick ones.
This may shew us some Inconsistency in Topicks of Argument, often used to inculcate Piety and Virtue. Whatever Motives of Interest we suggest, either from a present or future Reward, must be ineffectual, until we have first laboured to form amiable Conceptions of the Deity, and of our Fellow Creatures. And yet in many Writers, even in this Cause, “Mankind are represented as absolutely evil, or at best as entirely selfish; nor are there any nobler Ideas of the Deity suggested. It is grown a fashionable Topick, to put some sly selfish Construction upon the most generous human Actions; and he passes for the shreudest Writer, or Orator, who is most artful in these Insinuations.”
Appetites and Affections distinguished.II. The Government of our Passions must then depend much upon our Opinions:  But we must here observe an obvious Difference among our Desires, viz. that  “some of them have a previous, painful, or uneasy Sensation, antecedently to any Opinion of Good in the Object; nay, the Object is often chiefly esteemed good, only for its allaying this Pain or Uneasiness; or if the Object gives also positive Pleasure, yet the uneasy Sensation is previous to, and independent of this Opinion of Good in the Object.” These Desires we may call Appetites. “Other Desires and Aversions necessarily presuppose an Opinion of Good and Evil in their Objects; and the Desires or Aversions, with their concomitant uneasy Sensations, are produced or occasioned by this Opinion or Apprehension.” Of the former kind are Hunger and Thirst, and the Desires between the Sexes; to which Desires there is an uneasy Sensation previous, even in those who have little other Notion of Good in the Objects, than allaying this Pain or Uneasiness. There is something like to this in the Desire of Society, or the Company of our fellow Creatures. Our Nature is so much formed for this, that altho the Absence of Company is not immediately painful, yet if it be long, and the Person be not employed in something which tends to Society at last, or which is designed to fit him for Society, an uneasy Fretfulness, Sullenness, and Discontent,  will grow upon him by degrees, which Company alone  can remove. He shall not perhaps be sensible always, that it is the Absence of Company which occasions his Uneasiness: A painful Sensation dictates nothing of it self; it must be therefore some Reflection or Instinct, distinct from the Pain, which suggests the Remedy. Our Benevolence and Compassion pre suppose indeed some Knowledge of other sensitive Beings, and of what is good or evil to them: But they do not arise from any previous Opinion, that “the Good of others tends to the Good of the Agent.” They are Determinations of our Nature, previous to our Choice from Interest, which excite us to Action, as soon as we know other sensitive or rational Beings, and have any Apprehension of their Happiness or Misery.
In other Desires the Case is different. No Man is distressed for want of fine Smells, harmonious Sounds, beautiful Objects, Wealth, Power, or Grandeur, previously to some Opinion formed of these things as good, or some prior Sensation of their Pleasures. In like manner, Virtue and Honour as necessarily give us Pleasure, when they occur to us, as Vice and Contempt give us Pain; but, antecedently to some Experience or Opinion of this Pleasure, there is no previous uneasy Sensation in their Absence, as there  is in the Absence of the Objects of Appetite. The Necessity  of these Sensations previous to our Appetites, has been considered already.* The Sensations accompanying or subsequent to our other Desires, by which they are denominated Passions, keep them in a just Balance with our Appetites, as was before observed.
But this holds in general, concerning all our Desires or Aversions, that according to the Opinion or Apprehension of Good or Evil, the Desire or Aversion is increased or diminished: Every Gratification of any Desire gives at first Pleasure; and Disappointment Pain, proportioned to the Violence of the Desire. In like manner, the escaping any Object of Aversion, tho it makes no permanent Addition to our Happiness, gives at first a pleasant Sensation, and relieves us from Misery, proportioned to the Degree of Aversion or Fear. So when any Event, to which we had an Aversion, befals us, we have at first Misery proportioned to the Degree of Aversion. So that some Pain is subsequent upon all Frustration of Desire or Aversion, but it is previous to those Desires only, which are called Appetites.
[93/94] III. Hence we see how impossible it is for one to judge of the Degrees of Happiness or Misery in others, unless he knows their Opinions, their Associations of Ideas, and the Degrees of their Desires and Aversions. We see also of how much Consequence our Associations of Ideas and Opinions are to our Happiness or Misery, and to the Command of our Passions.
Associations of Ideas and Opinions increase or diminish the strength of our Desires.For tho in our Appetites there are uneasy Sensations, previous to any Opinion, yet our very Appetites may be strengthened or weakened, and variously alter’d by Opinion, or Associations of Ideas. Before their Intervention, the bodily Appetites are easily satisfied: Nature has put it in almost every one’s power, so far to gratify them, as to support the Body, and remove Pain. But when Opinion, and confused Ideas, or Fancy comes in, and represents some particular kinds of Gratifications, or great Variety of them, as of great Importance; when Ideas of Dignity, Grandure, Magnificence, Generosity, or any other moral Species, are joined to the Objects of Appetites, they may furnish us with endless Labour, Vexation, and Misery of every kind.
As to the other Desires which pre suppose some Opinion or Apprehension of  Good,  previous to any Sensation of uneasiness; they must still be more directly influenced by Opinion, and Associations of Ideas. The higher the Opinion or Apprehension of Good or Evil is, the stronger must the Desire or Aversion be; the greater is the Pleasure of Success at first, and the greater the Pain of Disappointment. Our publick Desires are influenced in the same manner with the private: what we conceive as Good, we shall desire for those we love, as well as for our selves; and that in proportion to the Degree of Goodapprehended in it: whatever we apprehend as Evil in any degree to those we love, to that we shall have proportionable Aversion.
The common Effect of these Associations of Ideas is this, “that they raise the Passions into an extravagant Degree, beyond the proportion of real Good in the Object: And commonly beget some secret Opinions to justify the Passions. But then the Confutation of these false Opinions is not sufficient to break the Association, so that the Desire or Passion shall continue, even when our Understanding has suggested to us, that the Object is not good, or not proportioned to the Strength of the Desire.” Thus we often may observe, that Persons, who by reasoning have laid aside all Opinion of  Spirits being in the  dark more than in the light, are still uneasy to be alone in the dark.* Thus the luxurious, the extravagant Lover, the Miser, can scarce be supposed to have Opinions of the several Objects of their Pursuit, proportioned to the Vehemence of their Desires; but the constant Indulgence of any Desire, the frequent Repetition of it, the diverting our Minds from all other Pursuits, the Strain of Conversation among Men of the same Temper, who often haunt together, the Contagion in the very Air and Countenance of the passionate, beget such wild Associations of Ideas, that a sudden Conviction of Reason will not stop the Desire or Aversion, any more than an Argument will surmount the Loathings or Aversions, acquired against certain Meats or Drinks, by Surfeits or emetick Preparations.
The Luxurious are often convinced, when any Accident has revived a natural Appetite, of the superior Pleasures in a plain Dinner, with a sharp Stomach:† but [96/97] this does not reform them; they have got all the Ideas of Dignity, Grandure, Excellence, and Enjoyment of Life joined to their Table. Explain to a Miser the Folly of his Conduct, so that he can alledg nothing in his Defence; yet he will go on,
He has likewise all Ideas of Good, of Worth, and Importance in Life confounded with his Coffers.
A romantick Lover has in like manner no Notion of Life without his Mistress, all Virtue and Merit are summed up in his inviolable Fidelity. The Connoisseur has all Ideas of valuable Knowledge, Gentlemanlike Worth and Ability associated with his beloved Arts. The Idea of Property comes along with the Taste, and makes his Happiness impossible, without Possession of what he admires. A plain Question might confute the Opinion, but will not break the Association: “What Pleasure has the Possessor more than others, to whose Eyes they are exposed as well as his?”
Our publick Desires are affected by confused Ideas, in the same manner with our private Desires. What is apprehended  as  Good, thro’ an Association of foreign Ideas, shall be pursued for those we love, as well as what is really good for them. Our benevolent Passions in the nearer Ties, are as apt to be too violent as any whatsoever: this we may often experience in the Love of Offspring, Relations, Parties, Cabals. The Violence of our Passion makes us sometimes incapable of pursuing effectually their Good, and sinks us into an useless State of Sorrow upon their Misfortunes. Compassion often makes the Evil greater to the Spectator than to the Sufferer; and sometimes subjects the Happiness of a Person of great Worth, to every Accident befalling one entirely void of it.
The Desire of Virtue, upon extensive impartial Schemes of publick Happiness, can scarce be too strong; but, upon mistaken or partial Views of publick Good, this Desire of Virtue may often lead Men into very pernicious Actions. One may conceive a sort of Extravagancy, and effeminate Weakness even of this Desire; as when Men are dissatisfied with themselves for Disappointments in good Attempts, which it was not in their Power to accomplish; when some heroick Tempers shew no Regard to private Good; when the Pursuit of the lovely Form is so passionate, that the Agent  does not relish his past Conduct  by agreeable Reflection, but like the Ambitious,
But the most pernicious Perversions of this Desire are “some partial Admirations of certain moral Species, such as Fortitude, Propagation of true Religion, Zeal for a Party; while other Virtues are overlooked, and the very Endto which the admired Qualities are subservient is forgotten. Thus some Phantoms of Virtue are raised, wholly opposite to its true Nature, and to the sole End of it, the publick Good.”
Honour, in like manner, has had its foolish Associations, and the true Nature of it has been overlooked, so that the Desire of it has run into Enthusiasm, and pernicious Madness. Thus, “however our Desires, when our Opinions are true, and the Desire is proportioned to the true Opinion, are all calculated for good, either publick or private; yet false Opinions, and confused Ideas, or too great a Violence in any of them, above a due Proportion to the rest, may turn the best of them into destructive Follies.”
Malicious or cruel Tempers, how they arise.[99/100] This is probably the Case in those Affections which some suppose natural, or at least incident to our Natures, and yet absolutely evil: Such as Rancour, or disinterested Malice, Revenge, Misanthropy. We indeed find our Nature determined to disapprove an Agent apprehended as evil, or malicious, thro’ direct Intention; we must desire the Destruction of such a Being, not only from Self‐Love, but from our Benevolence to others. Now when we rashly form Opinions of Sects, or Nations, as absolutely evil; or get associated Ideas of Impiety, Cruelty, Profaneness, recurring upon every mention of them: when, by repeated Reflection upon Injuries received, we strengthen our Dislike into an obdurate Aversion, and conceive that the Injurious are directly malicious; we may be led to act in such a manner, that Spectators, who are unacquainted with our secret Opinions, or confused Apprehensions of others, may think we have pure disinterested Malice in our Nature; a very Instinct toward the Misery of others, when it is really only the overgrowth of a just natural Affection, upon false Opinions, or confused Ideas; even as our Appetites, upon which our natural Life depends, may acquire accidental Loathings at the most wholesom Food. Our Ideas and Opinions of Mankind are often very rashly formed,  but our Affections  are generally suited to our Opinions. When our Ideas and Opinions of the moral Qualities of others are just, our Affections are generally regular and good: But when we give loose Reins to our Imagination and Opinion, our Affections must follow them into all Extravagance and Folly; and inadvertent Spectators will imagine some Dispositions in us wholly useless, and absolutely and directly evil.
Now the Gratification of these destructive Desires, like those of all the rest, gives at first some Pleasure, proportioned to their Violence; and the Disappointment gives proportioned Pain. But as to the Continuance of these Pleasures or Pains, we shall find hereafter great Diversity.
From this view of our Desires, we may see “the great Variety of Objects, Circumstances, Events, which must be of Importance to the Happiness of a Creature, furnished with such a Variety of Senses of Good and Evil, with equally various Desires corresponding to them: especially considering the strange Combinations of Ideas, giving Importance to many Objects, in their own Nature indifferent.”
How far the several Desires must necessarily arise in us.IV. We must in the next Place enquire “how far these several Desires must  necessarily  arise, or may be prevented by our Conduct.”
1.That of external pleasures.The Pleasures and Pains of the external Senses must certainly be perceived by every one who comes into the World; the one raising some Degree of Desire, and the other Aversion: the Pains of Appetites arise yet more certainly than others, and are previous to any Opinion. But then it is very much in our power to keep these Sensations pure and unmixedwith any foreign Ideas: so that the plainest Food and Raiment, if sufficiently nourishing and healthful, may keep us easy, as well as the rarest or most expensive. Nay the Body, when accustomed to the simpler Sorts, is easiest in the Use of them: And we are raised to an higher Degree of Chearfulness, by a small Improvement in our Table, than it is possible to bring a pampered Body into, by any of the Productions of Nature. Whatever the Body is once accustomed to, produces no considerable Change in it.
2.The Desires of the Pleasures of the Imagination.The Pleasures of the Imagination, or of the internal Sense of Beauty, and Decency, and Harmony, must also be perceived by us. The Regularity, Proportion and Order in external Forms, will as necessarily strike the Mind, as any Perceptions of the external Senses. But then, as we have no uneasiness  of Appetite, previous to the  Reception of those grateful Ideas, we are not necessarily made miserable in their Absence; unless by some fantastick Habit we have raised very violent Desires, or by a long Pursuit of them, have made our selves incapable of other Enjoyments.
Again, the Sense and Desire of Beauty of several kinds is entirely abstracted from Possession or Property; so that the finest Relish of this kind, and the strongest subsequent Desires, if we admit no foolish Conjunctions of Ideas, may almost every where be gratified with the Prospects of Nature, and with the Contemplation of the more curious Works of Art, which the Proprietors generally allow to others without Restraint. But if this Sense or Desire of Beauty itself be accompanied with the Desire of Possession or Property; if we let it be guided by Custom, and receive Associations of foreign Ideas in our Fancy of Dress, Equipage, Furniture, Retinue; if we relish only the Modes of the Great, or the Marks of Distinction as beautiful; if we let such Desires grow strong, we must be very great indeed, before we can have any Pleasure by this Sense: and every Disappointment or Change of Fortune must make us miserable. The like Fate may attend the Pursuit of speculative Sciences, Poetry, Musick, or  Painting; to excel in these things is granted but to few.  A violent Desire of Distinction and Eminence may bring on Vexation and Sorrow for the longest Life.
3.The publick Desires.The Pleasures and Pains of the publick Sense will also necessarily arise in us. Men cannot live without the Society of others, and their good Offices; they must observe both the Happiness and Misery, the Pleasures and Pains of their Fellows: Desire and Aversion must arise in the Observer. Nay farther, as we cannot avoid more near Attachments of Love, either from the Instinct between the Sexes, or that toward Offspring, or from Observation of the benevolent Tempers of others, or their particular Virtues and good Offices, we must feel the Sensations of Joy and Sorrow, from the State of others even in the stronger Degrees, and have the publick Desires in a greater Height. All we can do to prevent the Pains of general Benevolence, will equally lessen the Pleasures of it. If we restrain our publick Affection from growing strong, we abate our Pleasures from the good Success of others, as much as we lessen our Compassion for their Misfortunes: If we confine our Desires to a small Circle of Acquaintance, or to a Cabal or Faction, we contract our Pleasures as much as we do our Pains. The Distinction of Pleasures and Pains into real  and imaginary, or rather into necessary and voluntary,  would be of some use, if we could correct the Imaginations of others, as well as our own; but if we cannot, we are sure, whoever thinks himself miserable, is really so; however he might possibly, by a better Conduct of his Imagination, have prevented this Misery. All we can do in this affair, is to enjoy a great Share of the Pleasures of the stronger Ties, with fewer Pains of them, by confining the stronger Degrees of Love, or our Friendships, to Persons of corrected Imaginations, to whom as few of the uncertain Objects of Desire are necessary to Happiness as is possible. Our Friendship with such Persons may probably be to us a much greater Source of Happiness than of Misery, since the Happiness of such Persons is more probable than the contrary.
Since there is nothing in our Nature determining us to disinterested Hatredtoward any Person; we may be secure against all the Pains of Malice, by preventing false Opinions of our Fellows as absolutely evil, or by guarding against habitual Anger, and rash Aversions.
The moral Ideas do arise also necessarily in our Minds. We cannot avoid observing the Affections of those we converse with;  their Actions, their Words, their Looks betray them. We are conscious of  our own Affections, and cannot avoid Reflection upon them sometimes: the kind and generous Affections will appear amiable, and all Appearance of Cruelty, Malice, or even very selfish Affections, will be disapproved, and appear odious. Our own Temper, as well as that of others, will appear to our moral Sense either lovely or deformed, and will be the Occasion either of Pleasure or Uneasiness. We have not any proper Appetite toward Virtue, so as to be uneasy, even antecedently to the Appearance of the lovely Form; but as soon as it appears to any Person, as it certainly must very early in Life, it never fails to raise Desire, as Vice does raise Aversion. This is so rooted in our Nature, that no Education, false Principles, depraved Habits, or even Affectation itself can entirely root it out. Lucretius and Hobbes shew themselves in innumerable Instances struck with some moral Species; they are full of Expressions of Admiration, Gratitude, Praise, Desire of doing Good; and of Censure, Disapprobation, Aversion to some Forms of Vice.
Since then there is no avoiding these Desires and Perceptions of Morality, all we can do to secure our selves in the possession of Pleasures of this kind, without Pain, consists in “a vigorous Use of our Reason, to  discern what Actions really [106 ] tend to the publick Good in the whole, that we may not do that upon a partial View of Good, which afterwards, upon a fuller Examination, we shall condemn and abhor our selves for; and withal, to fix our Friendships with Persons of like Dispositions, and just Discernment.” Men of partial Views of publick Good, if they never obtain any better, may be easy in a very pernicious Conduct, since the moral Evil or Deformity does not appear to them. But this is seldom to be hop’d for in any partial Conduct. Those who are injured by us fail not to complain; the Spectators, who are disengaged from our partial Attachments, will often take the Freedom to express their Sentiments, and set our Conduct in a full Light: This must very probably occasion to us Shame and Remorse. “It cannot therefore be an indifferent Matter, to an Agent with a moral Sense, what Opinions he forms of the Tendency of Actions; what partial Attachments of Love he has toward Parties or Factions. If he has true Opinions of the Tendencies of Actions; if he carefully examines the real Dignity of Persons and Causes, he may be sure that the Conduct which he now approves he shall always approve, and have delight in Reflection upon it, however it be censured by others. But if he takes up at hazard Opinions of Actions;  if  he has a foolish Admiration of particular Sects, and as foolish Aversions and Dislike to others, not according to any real Importance or Dignity, he shall often find occasion for Inconstancy and Change of his Affections, with Shame and Remorse for his past Conduct, and an inward Dislike and Self‐Condemnation.”
What most deeply affects our Happiness or Misery, are the Dispositions of those Persons with whom we voluntarily contract some nearer Intimacies of Friendship: If we act wisely in this Point, we may secure to our selves the greatest Pleasures with the fewest Pains, by attaching our selves to Persons of real Goodness, good Offices toward whom are useful to the World. The Ties of Bloodare generally very strong, especially toward Offspring; they need rather the Bridle than the Spur, in all Cases wherein the Object is not recommended to a singular Love by his good Qualities. We may, in a considerable measure, restrain our natural Affection toward a worthless Offspring, by setting our publick Affections and our moral Sense against it, in frequent Contemplation of their Vices, and of the Mischief which may arise to Persons of more worth from them, if we give them any Countenance in their Vices.
[108/109] The regulating our Apprehensions of the Actions of others, is of very great Importance, that we may not imagine Mankind worse than they really are, and thereby bring upon our selves a Temper full of Suspicion, Hatred, Anger and Contempt toward others; which is a constant State of Misery, much worse than all the Evils to be feared from Credulity. If we examine the true Springs of human Action, we shall seldom find their Motives worse than Self‐Love. Men are often subject to Anger, and upon sudden Provocations do Injuries to each other, and that only from Self‐Love, without Malice; but the greatest part of their Lives is employed in Offices of natural Affection, Friendship, innocent SelfLove, or Love of a Country. The little Party‐Prejudices are generally founded upon Ignorance, or false Opinions, rather apt to move Pity than Hatred. Such Considerations are the best Preservative against Anger, Malice, and Discontent of Mind with the Order of Nature. “When you would make yourself chearful and easy (says the Emperor* ) consider the Virtues of your several Acquaintances, the Industry and Diligence of one, the Modesty of another, the Generosity or  Liberality of a  third; and in some Persons some other Virtue. There is nothing so delightful, as the Resemblances of the Virtues appearing in the Conduct of your Contemporaries as frequently as possible. Such Thoughts we should still retain with us.”
When the moral Sense is thus assisted by a sound Understanding and Application, our own Actions may be a constant Source of solid Pleasure, along with the Pleasures of Benevolence, in the highest Degree which our Nature will admit, and with as few of its Pains as possible.
How far our Sense of Honour is in our power.As to the Desires of Honour, since we cannot avoid observing or hearing of the Sentiments of others concerning our Conduct, we must feel the Desire of the good Opinions of others, and Aversion to their Censures or Condemnation: since the one necessarily gives us Pleasure, and the other Pain. Now it is impossible to bring all Men into the same Opinions of particular Actions, because of their different Opinions of publick Good, and of the Means of promoting it; and because of opposite Interests; so that it is often impossible to be secure against all Censure or Dishonour from some of our Fellows. No one is so much Master of external Things, as to make his honourable Intentions successful; and yet  Success  is a Mark by which many judge of the Goodness of Attempts. Whoever therefore suffers his Desire of Honour or Applause to grow violent, without Distinction of the Persons to whose Judgment he submits, runs a great hazard of Misery. But our natural Desire of Praise, to speak in the Mathematical Style, is in a compounded Proportion of the Numbers of Applauders, and their Dignity. “He therefore who makes Distinction of Persons justly, and acts wisely for the publick Good, may secure himself from much uneasiness upon injudicious Censure, and may obtain the Approbation of those whose Esteem alone is valuable, or at least far over‐ballances the Censure of others.”
The Desire of Wealth and Power.The Desire of Wealth must be as necessary as any other Desires of our Nature, as soon as we apprehend the usefulness of Wealth to gratify all other Desires. While it is desired as the Means of something farther, the Desire tends to our Happiness, proportionably to the good Oeconomy of the principal Desires to which it is made subservient. It is in every man’s power, by a little Reflection, to prevent the Madness and Enthusiasm with which Wealth is insatiably pursued, even for itself, without any direct Intention of using it. The Consideration of the small Addition often  made by Wealth to the Happiness of the Possessor, may check  this Desire, and prevent that Insatiability which sometimes attends it.
Power in like manner is desired as the Means of gratifying other original Desires; nor can the Desire be avoided by those who apprehend its usefulness. It is easy to prevent the Extravagance of this Desire, and many of its consequent Pains, by considering “the Danger of affecting it by injurious Means, supporting it by Force, without consent of the Subject, and employing it to private Interest, in opposition to publick Good.” No Mortal is easy under such Subjection; every Slave to such a Power is an Enemy: The Possessor must be in a continual State of Fear, Suspicion and Hatred.
The Occasion of fantastick Desires.There is nothing in our Nature leading us necessarily into the fantastick Desires; they wholly arise thro’ our Ignorance and Negligence; when, thro’ want of Thought, we suffer foolish Associations of Ideas to be made, and imagine certain trifling Circumstances to contain something honourable and excellent in them, from their being used by Persons of Distinction. We know how the Inadvertencies, Negligences, Infirmities, and even Vices, either of great or ingenious Men, have been affected,  and imitated by those who were incapable of  imitating their Excellencies. This happens often to young Gentlemen of plentiful Fortunes, which set them above the Employments necessary to others, when they have not cultivated any relish for the Pleasures of the Imagination, such as Architecture, Musick, Painting, Poetry, Natural Philosophy, History: When they have no farther Knowledge of these things, than stupidly to praise what they hear others praise: When they have neglected to cultivate their publick Affections, are bantered a long time from Marriage and Offspring; and have neither themselves Minds fit for Friendships, nor any intimate Acquaintance with such as are fit to make Friends of: When their moral Sense is weakened, or, if it be strong in any points, these are fixed at random, without any regular Scheme: When thro’ Ignorance of publick Affairs, or want of Eloquence to speak what they know, they despair of the Esteem or Honour of the Wise: When their Hearts are too gay to be entertained with the dull Thoughts of increasing their Wealth, and they have not Ability enough to hope for Power; such poor empty Minds have nothing but Trifles to pursue; any thing becomes agreeable, which can supply the Void of Thought, or prevent the sullen Discontent which must grow upon a Mind conscious of no Merit, and expecting  the Contempt of its Fellows; as a Pack of Dogs,  an Horse, a Jewel, an Equipage, a Pack of Cards, a Tavern; any thing which has got any confused Ideas of Honour, Dignity, Liberality, or genteel Enjoyment of Life joined to it. These fantastick Desires any Man might have banished at first, or entirely prevented. But if we have lost the Time of substituting better in their stead, we shall only change from one sort to another, with a perpetual Succession of Inconstancy and Dissatisfaction.
V. The End of all these Considerations, is to find out the most effectual way of advancing the Happiness of Mankind; in order to which, they may perhaps appear of considerable Consequence, since Happiness consists in “the highest and most durable Gratifications of, either all our Desires, or, if all cannot be gratify’d at once, of those which tend to the greatest and most durable Pleasures, with exemption either from all Pains and Objects of Aversion, or at least from those which are the most grievous.” The following general Observations may be premised concerning their Objects.
The full Pursuit of all kinds of Pleasure is impossible.[114/115] 1. “It is plainly impossible that any Man should pursue the Gratifications of all these Desires at once, with Prudence, Diligence, and Vigor, sufficient to obtain the highest Pleasures of each kind, and to avoid their opposite Pains.” For, not to mention the Narrowness of the Powers of our Minds, which makes them incapable of a Multiplicity of Pursuits at once; the very Methods of obtaining the highest Gratification of the several Senses and Desires, are directly inconsistent with each other. For example, the violent Pursuit of the Pleasures of the external Senses, or Sensuality, is opposite to the Pleasures of the Imagination, and to the Study of the ingenious Arts, which tend to the Ornament of Life: These require Labour and Application, inconsistent with the Voluptuousness of the external Senses, which by itself would engross the whole Application of our Minds, thro’ vain Associations of Ideas.
Again: The violent Pursuits of either of the former kinds of Pleasures, is often directly inconsistent with publick Affections, and with our moral Sense, and Sense of Honour. These Pleasures require a quite different Temper, a Mind little set upon selfish Pleasures, strongly possessed with Love for  others, and Concern for their  Interests capable of Labour and Pain. However our desire of Honour be really selfish, yet we know it is never acquired by Actions appearing selfish; but by such as appear publick‐spirited, with neglect of the Pleasures of the external Senses and Wealth. Selfishness is generally attended with Shame;* and hence we conceal even our Desire of Honour itself, and are ashamed of Praise in our own Presence, even when we are doing beneficent Actions, with design to obtain it. The Pursuits of Wealth and Power are often directly opposite to the Pleasures of all the other kinds, at least for the present, however they may be intended for the future Enjoyment of them.
No Certainty of Success in any Pursuit, save that of Virtue.2. “There is no such Certainty in human Affairs, that a Man can assure himself of the perpetual Possession of these Objects which gratify any one Desire,” except that of Virtue itself: which, since it does not depend upon external Objects and Events,* but upon our own Affections and Conduct, we may promise to our selves that we shall always enjoy. But then Virtue consists in Benevolence, or Desire of the publick Good: The Happiness of others is  very uncertain, so  that our publick Desires may often be disappointed; and every Disappointment is uneasy, in proportion to the Degree of Desire. And therefore, however the Admiration and fixed Pursuit of Virtue may always secure one stable and constant Pleasure of Self‐Approbation, yet this Enjoyment presupposes a Desire of publick Good, subject to frequent Disappointments, which will be attended with Uneasiness proportioned to the Degree of publick Desire, or the Virtue upon which we reflect. There seems therefore no possibility of securing to our selves, in our present State, an unmixed Happiness independently of all other Beings. Every Apprehension of Good raises desire, every Disappointment of Desire is uneasy; every Object of Desire is uncertain except Virtue, but the Enjoyment of Virtue supposes the Desire of an uncertain Object, viz. the publick Happiness. To secure therefore independently of all other Beings invariable and pure Happiness, it would be necessary either to have the Power of directing all Events in the Universe, or to root out all Sense of Evil, or Aversion to it, while we retained our Sense of Good, but without previous Desire, the Dissappointment of which could give Pain. The rooting out of all Senses and Desires, were it practicable, would cut off all Happiness as well as Misery: The removing  or stopping a part of them, might indeed be  of consequence to the Happiness of the Individual on some occasions, however pernicious it might be to the Whole. But ’tis plain, we have not in our power the modelling of our Senses or Desires, to form them for a private Interest: They are fixed for us by the Author of our Nature, subservient to the Interest of the System; so that each Individual is made, previously to his own Choice, a Member of a great Body, and affected with the Fortunes of the Whole, or at least of many Parts of it; nor can he break himself off at pleasure.
The Mistakes of the Stoicks about compleat Happiness.This may shew the Vanity of some of the lower rate of Philosophers of the Stoick Sect, in boasting of an undisturbed Happiness and Serenity, independently even of the Deity, as well as of their Fellow‐Creatures, wholly inconsistent with the Order of Nature, as well as with the Principles of some of their great Leaders: for which, Men of Wit in their own Age did not fail to ridicule them.
That must be a very fantastick Scheme of Virtue, which represents it as a private sublimely selfish Discipline, to preserve our selves wholly unconcerned, not only in the  Changes of Fortune as to our Wealth or Poverty, Liberty or Slavery, Ease or Pain, but even in all external Events  whatsoever, in the Fortunes of our dearest Friends or Country, solacing ourselves that we are easy and undisturbed. If there be any thing amiable in human Nature, the Reflection upon which can give us pleasure, it must be kind disinterested Affections towards our Fellows, or towards the whole, and its Author and Cause. These Affections, when reflected upon, must be one constant Source of Pleasure in Self-Approbation. But some of these very Affections, being toward an uncertain Object, must occasion Pain, and directly produce one sort of Misery to the virtuous in this Life. ’Tis true indeed, it would be a much greater Misery to want such an amiable Temper, which alone secures us from the basest and most detestable State of Self‐Condemnation and Abhorrence. But, allowing such a Temper to be the necessary Occasion of one sort of Happiness, even the greatest we are capable of, yet it may also be the Occasion of no inconsiderable Pains in this Life.
That this affectionate Temper is true Virtue, and not that undisturbed Selfishness, were it attainable, every one would readily own who saw them both in Practice. Would any honest Heart relish such a Speech  as this from a Cato or an Aemilius Paulus? “I foresee the Effects of this Defeat, my Fellow‐Creatures, my Countrymen, my  honourable Acquaintances; many a generous gallant Patriot and Friend, Fathers, Sons, and Brothers, Husbands and Wives, shall be inslaved, tortured, torn from each other, or in each other’s sight made subject to the Pride, Avarice, Petulancy, or Lust of the Conqueror. I have, for my own Pleasure, to secure agreeable Reflections, laboured in their Defence. I am unconcerned in their Misfortunes; their bodily Tortures, or more exquisite Distresses of Mindfor each other, are to me indifferent. I am entirely absolute, compleat in myself; and can behold their Agonies with as much Ease or Pleasure, as I did their Prosperity.” This is the plain Language of some boasting Refiners upon Virtue; Sentiments as disagreeable as those of Catiline.
The Desire of Virtue is toward an Object ἐκ τω̑ν έφ̕ ὴμιν, or in our power, since all Men have naturally kind Affections, which they may increase and strengthen; but these kind Affections tend toward an uncertain Object, which is not in our power. Suppose the Stoick should alledg, “Vice is the only Evil, and Virtue the only Good.” If we have Benevolence to others, we must  wish them to be virtuous, and must have compassion toward the vicious: thus still we may be subjected to Pain or Uneasiness,  by our very Virtue; unless we suppose, what no Experience can confirm, that Men may have strong Desires, the Disappointment of which will give no Uneasiness, or that Uneasiness is no Evil. Let the Philosopher regulate his own Notions as he pleases about Happiness or Misery; whoever imagines himself unhappy, is so in reality; and whoever has kind Affections or Virtue, must be uneasy to see others really unhappy.
But tho a pure unmixed Happiness is not attainable in this Life, yet all their Precepts are not rendered useless.
3.The full Sense of Good may be preserved, without the Pains of Desire, in many Cases.3. For we may observe, thirdly, that “the Sense of Goodcan continue in its full Strength, when yet we shall have but weak Desires.” In this case we are capable of enjoying all the Good in any Object, when we obtain it, and yet exposed to no great Pain upon Disappointment. This may be generally observed, that “the Violence of Desire does not proportionably enliven the Sensation of Good, when it is obtained; nor does diminishing the Desire weaken the Sensation, tho it will diminish the  Uneasiness of Disappointment, or the Misery of contrary Evils.” Our high Expectations of Happiness from  any Object, either thro’ the Acuteness of our Senses, or from our Opinions or Associations of Ideas, never fail to increase Desire: But then the Violence of Desire does not proportionably enliven our Sensation in the Enjoyment. During the first confused Hurry of our Success, our Joy may perhaps be increased by the Violence of our previous Desire, were it only by allaying the great Uneasiness accompanying the Desire itself. But this Joy soon vanishes, and is often succeeded by Disgust and Uneasiness, when our Sense of the Good, which is more fixed in Nature than our Fancy or Opinions, represents the Object far below our Expectation. Now he who examines all Opinions of Good in Objects, who prevents or corrects vain Associations of Ideas, and thereby prevents extravagant Admirations, or enthusiastick Desires, above the real Moment of Good in the Object, if he loses the transient Raptures of the first Success, yet he enjoys all the permanent Goodor Happiness which any Object can afford; and escapes, in a great measure, both the uneasy Sensations of the more violent Desires, and the Torments of Disappointment, to which Persons of irregular Imaginations are exposed.
 This is the Case of the Temperate and the Chaste, with relation to the Appetites; of the Men of Moderation and Frugality,  and corrected Fancy, with regard to the Pleasures of Imagination; of the Humble and the Content, as to Honour, Wealth or Power. Such Persons upon good Success, want only the first transitory Ecstacies; but have a full and lively Sense of all the lasting Good in the Objects of their Pursuit; and yet are in a great measure secure against both the Uneasiness of violent Desire, and the Dejection of Mind, and abject Sorrow upon Disappointment, or upon their being exposed to the contrary Evils.
Further, Persons of irregular Imaginations are not soon reformed, nor their Associations of Ideas broke by every Experience of the Smallness of the Good in the admired Object. They are often rather set upon new Pursuits of the same kind, or of greater Variety of like Objects. So their experience of Disappointment, or of contrary Evils, does not soon correct their Imaginations about the Degrees of Good or Evil. The Loss of Good, or the Pressure of any Calamity, will continue to torment them, thro’ their vain Notions of these Events, and make them insensible of the real Good which they might still enjoy in their present  State. Thus the Covetous have smaller Pleasure in any given Degree of Wealth; the Luxurious from a splendid Table; the Ambitious from any given  Degree of Honour or Power, than Men of more moderate Desires: And on the other hand, the Miseries of Poverty, mean Fare, Subjection, or Contempt, appear much greater to them, than to the moderate. Experience, while these confused Ideas remain, rather increases the Disorder: But if just Reflection comes in, and tho late, applies the proper Cure, by correcting the Opinions and the Imagination, every Experience will tend to our Advantage.
The same way may our publick Desires be regulated. If we prevent confused Notions of Good, we diminish or remove many Anxieties for our Friends as well as our selves. Only this must be remembered, that weakening our publick Affections, necessarily weakens our Sense of publick Good founded upon them, and will deprive us of the Pleasures of the moral Sense, in reflecting on our Virtue.
4.Laying our account to meet with Evil, often lessens our Misery.4. We may lastly remark, “That the Expectation of any Pain, or the frequent Consideration of the Evils which may befal us, or the Loss of Good we now enjoy, before these Events actually threaten  us, or raise any Consternation in our Minds by their Approach, does not diminish our Joy upon escaping Evil, or our Pleasure upon the arrival of any  Good beyond Expectation: But this previous Expectation generally diminishes our Fear, while the Event is in suspence, and our Sorrow upon its arrival;” Since thereby the Mind examines the Nature of the Event, sees how far it is necessarily Evil, and what Supports under it are in its power: This Consideration may break vain Conjunctions of foreign Ideas, which occasion our greatest Fears in Life, and even in Death itself. If, indeed, a weak Minddoes not study to correct the Imagination, but still dwells upon its possible Calamities, under all their borrowed Forms of Terror; or if it industriously aggravates them to itself, this previous Consideration may embitter its whole Life, without arming it against the smallest Evil.
This Folly is often occasioned by that Delight which most Men find in the Pity of others under Misfortunes; those especially, who are continually indulged as the Favourites of Families or Company, being long enured to the Pleasure arising from the perpetual Marks of Love toward them from all their Company, and from their tender Sympathy in Distress: this often leads them even to feign Misery to obtain Pity,  and to raise in themselves the most dejected Thoughts, either to procure Consolation, or the Pleasure of observing the Sympathy of others. This peevish or pettish  Temper, tho it arises from something sociable in our Frame, yet is often the Fore‐runner of the greatest Corruption of Mind. It disarms the Heart of its natural Integrity; it induces us to throw away our true Armour, our natural Courage, and cowardly to commit our selves to the vain Protection of others, while we neglect our own Defence.
[*]Sect. 2. Art. 6.
[[“Just as children are agitated, and fear all things lurking in the dark, so sometimes in the daylight we fear things no more [deserving] of fear,” Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, II.55–58.]]
[[Horace, Satire 2.2, 8–11, 15, 17–18. “After chasing a rabbit, or coming away tired from a horse that is hard to control, or if the Roman and Greek military drills exhaust you … when work has hammered away your pickiness then bread and salt will calm your grumbling stomach quite well.”]]
[28.]Juvenal, Satire, 14, 137: “to live in need in order that you may die wealthy.”
[29.]Lucan, De Bello Civili, II.657, is the closest line. The quote describes Caesar’s ceaseless ambition. It is skillfuly captured in Nicholas Rowe’s translation of 1718: “[but he, with empire fired and vast desires,]/ to all and nothing less than all aspires,” in Sarah Annes Brown and Charles Martindale (eds.), Lucan, The Civil War: Translated as Lucan’s Pharsalia by Nicholas Rowe (London: Everyman, 1998).
[*]Marcus Antoninus, Lib. vi. C. 48.
[30.]Horace, Epistles, I.1. This is an inversion of Horace’s text, 85–86, “but if a morbid whim has given him the omen,” followed by 82, “can the same person persist for one hour in liking the same things?”
[*]Treat. II. Sect. 5. Art. 7.
[*]Treat. II. Sect. 3. last Paragraph.
[31.]Horace, Epistles, I.32, “It is worthwhile to take a few steps forward, even if we may not go still further.”