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30. In the nature of every man, there is somewhat original, which distinguishes him from others, which tends to form his character, and to make him meek or fiery, candid or deceitful, resolute or timorous, cheerful or morose. This original bent, termed disposition, must be distinguished from a principle : the latter, signifying a law of human nature, makes part of the common nature of man; the former makes part of the nature of this or that man. Propensity is a name common to both; for it signifies a principle as well as a disposition.
31. Affection, signifying a settled bent of mind toward a particular being or thing, occupies a middle place between disposition on the one hand, and passion on the other. It is clearly distinguishable from disposition, which, being a branch of one's nature otiginally, must exist before there can be an opportunity to exert it upon any particular object; whereas affection can never be original, be. cause, having a special relation to a particular object, it cannot exist till the object have once at least been presented. It is no less clearly distin. guishable from passion, which, depending on the real or ideal presence of its object, vanishes with įts object: whereas affection is a lasting connexion; and, like other connexions, subsists even when we do not think of the person. A familiar example will clear the whole. I have from nature a dispo. sition to gratitude, which, through want of an object, happens never to be exerted; and which therefore is unknown even to myself. Another who has the same disposition meets with a kindly
office, which makes him grateful to his benefactor : an intimate connexion is formed between them, termed affection; which, like other connexions, has a permanent existence, though not always in - view. The affection, for the most part, lies dormant, till an opportunity offer for exerting it: in that circumstance, it is converted into the passion of gratitude; and the opportunity is greedily seized of testifying gratitude in the warmest manner.
32. Aversion, I think, is opposed to affection; not to desire, as it commonly is. We have an affection to one person ; we have an aversion to another: the former disposes us to do good to its object, the latter to do ill.
33. What is a sentiment ? It is not a perception ; for a perception signifies the act by which we become conscious of external objects. It isnot consciousness of an internal action, such as thinking, suspending thought, inclining, resolving, willing, &c. Neither is it the conception of a relation among objects; a conception of that kind being termed opinion. The term sentiment is appropriated to such thoughts as are prompted by passion.
34. Attention is that state of mind which prepares one to receive impressions. According to the degree of attention, objects make a strong or weak impression.* Attention is requisite even to
* Bacon, in his Natural History, makes the following observations. Sounds are meliorated by the intension of the sense, where the common sense is collected most to the particular
the simple act of seeing: the eye can take in a considerable field at one look; but no object in the field is seen distinctly, but that singly which fixes the attention: in a profound reverie that totally occupies the attention, we scarce see what is directly before us. In a train of perceptions, the attention being divided among various objects, no particular object makes such a figure as it would do single and apart. Hence, the stillness of night contributes to terror, there being nothing to divert the attention :
Horror ubique animos, simul ipsa silentịa terrent.
Zara. Silence and solitude are ev'ry where! Through all the gloomy ways and iron doors That hither lead, nor human face nor yoice Is seen or heard. A dreadful din wąs wont То grate the sense, when enter'd here, from groans And howls of slaves condemn’d, from clink of chains, And crash of rusty bars and creaking hinges: And ever and anon the sight was dash'd With frightful faces and the meagre looks Of grim and ghastly executioners. Yet more this stillness terrifies
soul Than did that scene of complicated horrors.
Mourning Bride, Act v. Sc. 8.
sense of hearing, and the sight suspended. Therefore, sounds are sweeter, as well as greater, in the night than in the day; and I suppose they are sweeter to blind men than to others : and it is manifest, that between sleeping and waking, when all the senses are bound and suspended, music is far sweeter than when one is fully waking.
And hence it is, that an object seen at the termination of a confined view, is more agreeable than when seen in a group with the surrounding objects :
The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark
Merchant of Venice.
35. In matters of slight importance, attention is mostly directed by will; and for that reason, it is our own fault if trifling objects make any deep impression. Had we power equally to withhold our attention from matters of importance, we might be proof against any deep impression. But our power fails us here: an interesting object seizes and fixes the attention beyond the possibility of controul; and while our attention is thus forcibly attached to one object, others may solicit for admittance; but in vain, for they will not be regarded. Thus a small misfortune is scarce felt in presence of a greater :
Lear. Thou think'st 'tis much, that this contentious
storm Invades us to the skin: so 'tis to thee; But where the greater malady is fix'd, The lesser is scarce felt. Thou’dst shun a bear; But if thy flight lay tow’rd the roaring sea, Thou'dst meet the bear i' th' mouth. When the mind's
The body's delicate: the tempest in my mind
36. Genus, species, modification, are terms in. vented to distinguish beings from each other. Individuals are distinguished by their qualities : a number of individuals considered with respect to qualities that distinguish them from others, is termed a species : a plurality of species considered with respect to their distinguishing qualities, is termed a genus. That quality which distinguisheth one genus, one species, or even one individual, from another, is termed a modification : thus the same particularcthat is termed a property or quality when considered as belonging to an individual, or a class of individuals, is termed a modification when considered as distinguishing the individual or the class from another: a black skin and soft curled hair, are properties of a Negro; the same circumstances considered as marks that distinguish a Negro from à man of a different species, are denominated modifications.
37. Objects of sight, being complex, are distinguishable into the several particulars that enter into the composition: these objects are all of them coloured; and they all have length, breadth, and thickness. When I behold a spreading oak, I distinguish in that object, size, figure, colour, and sometimes motion : in a flowing river, I distinguish colour, figure, and constant motion ; a dye has colour, black spots, six plain surfaces, all equal