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early dew;" like them, too, they pass away. The pleasure arising from knowledge of duty is less impetuous: it has no approaches to rapture; it seldom makes the heart throb, or the tear descend; and as it produces no transporting enjoyment, it seldom leads to uncommon exertion; but the joy it affords is uniform, steady, and lasting. As the conduct is most perfect, so our happiness is most complete, when both principles are united: when our convictions of duty are animated with sensibility; and sensibility guided by convictions of duty.
It is, indeed, to be regretted, that feeling and the knowledge of duty are not always united. It is deeply to be regretted, that unless sensibility be regulated by that knowledge of duty which arises from reflection on our own condition, and acquaintance with human nature, it may produce. unhappiness both to ourselves and others; but chiefly to ourselves. To illustrate these consequences may be of service. It is often no less important to point out the nature and evil effects of seeming excellence, than of acknowledged depravity ; besides,
it will exhibit the human mind in a striking situation.
The subject, perhaps, is unpopular.-It is the fashion of the times to celebrate feeling; and the conduct flowing from sedater principles is pronounced cold and ungenial. It is the conduct, we are told of those dispassionate minds who never deviate to the right hand or the left; who travel through life unnoticed: and as they are never visited by the ecstacies of sensibility, they enjoy unen. vied immunity from its delicate sorrows. What pretensions have they to the distinction of weak nerves or exquisite feeling? They know so little of the melancholy and of the refined impatience, so often the portion of sentimental spirits, that they are absurd enough to term them chagrin and ill humour. In truth, sentiment and sensibility have been the subject of so many tales and sermons, that the writer who would propose the union of feeling with reflection, may perhaps incur much fastidious disdain: we shall, therefore, go forth upon this adventure under the banner of a powerful snd respectable leader. Shake
no less intimately acquainted with the principles of human conduct, than excellent in delineation; and has exhibited in his Dramatic Character of King Lear the man of mere sensibility.
I. Those who are guided in their conduct by impetuous impulse, arising from sensibility, and undirected by reflection, are liable to extravagant or outrageous excess. Transported by their own emotions, they misapprehend the condition of others; they are prone to exaggeration; and even the good actions they perform, excite amazement rather than approbation. Lear, an utter stranger to adverse fortune, and under the power of excessive affection, believed that his children were in every respect deserving. During this ardent and inconsiderate mood, he ascribed to them such corresponding sentiments as justified his extravagant fond
He saw his children as the gentlest and most affectionate of the human race. What condescension, on his part, could be a suitable reward for their filial piety? He divides his kingdom among them; they will relieve him from the cares of royalty ; and to his old age will afford consolation.
'tis our fast intent To shake all cares and business from our age, Conferring them on younger strengths.
But he is not only extravagant in his love; he is no less outrageous in his displeasure. Kent, moved with zeal for his interest, remonstrates, with the freedom of conscious integrity, against his conduct to Cordelia ; and Lear, impatient of good counsel, not only rebukes him with unbecoming asperity, but inflicts unmerited punishment
Five days we do allot thee for provision,
II. The conduct proceeding from unguided feeling will be capricious. In minds where principles of regular and permanent influence have no authority, every feeling has a right to command; and every im
pulse, how sudden soever, is regarded, during the season of its power, with entire approbation.
All such feelings and impulses are not only admitted, but obeyed; and lead us, without hesitation or reflection, to a corresponding deportment. But the objects with which we are conversant, often vary their aspects, and are seen by us in different attitudes. This
This may be owing to accidental connection or comparison with other things, of a similar, or of a different nature; or it may be owing, and this is most frequently the case, to some accidental mood or humour of our own. A fine landscape, viewed in different lights, may appear more or less beautiful; yet the landscape in itself may remain unaltered ; nor will the person who views it pronounce it in reality less beautiful than it was, though he sees it with a setting rather than with a rising sun. The capricious inconstancy of persons governed by ņo regular and permanent principles is apt to display itself, when unfortunately they form expectations, and sustain disappointment. Moved by an ardent mood, they regard the