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but few sorts of pleasure which he could digest. His constitution stands in need of some preparatory expedients. Could his outward circumstances be improved and made more prosperous, that would have a great effect; but in giving general directions that expedient may be dismissed as impracticable: let him, however, change the scene; absence from the particular objects of his hatred, and from every thing associated with them, will naturally make some of his emotions subside; variety will cheer and enliven him: he will be put out of his course; he will become more capable of attending to advice, and of accepting assistance; and more open to new impressions; even to such as are of a pleasing sort.
The first pleasure to be administered to the Misanthrope must be of a moral nature; pure and peaceable. He should be engaged in studying the works of the Creation; in experiments on the various provisions which the author of nature has made for his creatures though these may be called physical, yet their operation on the heart is moral: we cannot dwell on the beauties and exquisite contrivances of almighty wisdom, and conceive the degree in which we are interested in them, without exciting in ourselves strong moral sentiments; or at least such as are pure, and remote from every thing sensual. By superintending vegetation, a man is naturally induced to fix his thoughts for a length of time on such wisdom and beauty as is here understood. From admiring the works of Nature the transition is not difficult to receiving pleasure from works of Art; the best and most useful of which give moral enjoyment. Could the Misanthrope be conducted so far on his way towards mental sanity as to relish these, he must begin to view some of his own species in a favourable light; as being, in some sort, the sources of his gratification: which would be a great point gained. If he could be prevailed upon to labour, in any way which would be successful and productive, the fruits of his activity would not fail to raise in his mind a pleasing self-complacency: which would be greatly heightened and refined if his industry were exercised in acts of beneficence. And not only in his own employ-,
ments, but in viewing the employments of others, he should dwell chiefly on what is most moral: as on instances of parental, filial, brotherly love; on acts of friendship; on transactions of benevolent associations; on the comforts of cheerful and contented poverty. These are to be found; and they should be sought for diligently, by the Misanthrope, and applied to his mind as precious balms. For a considerable time he should mix only with the more honest and virtuous part of mankind; carefully avoiding the false and profligate; without any attempt to reprove or reform them; as that would excite his indignation, and endanger a relapse. Nor is there any reason to doubt that a sufficient number of worthy persons may be found to answer his purpose. There are many families, in which relatives may be seen living together upon a kind footing; the members of which faithfully promote each others interests and happiness; affording examples both of the more manly and noble, and of the more feminine and delicate virtues. To be adopted into one such family, and continue in it till the ruling disposition of it was fully seized, might be sufficient to sweeten the temper of most misanthropes.
22. When our patient had recovered his health far enough to have a settled relish for moral pleasure; he might be presented with some of a religious sort but religion has sometimes been gloomy, or even malignant : he must not therefore be left to wander at full liberty even through all the dispensations of providence; much less through all the tenets of religious men: he must, whilst under medical regulation, confine himself to the more favourable sorts, to such as make the Supreme Being, even to our narrow conceptions, an object of Love. In the divine benevolence he would find an inexhaustible source of saiutary reflexion: which would gradually prepare his mind for wholesome meditation on those parts of the universe which have most the appearance of evil.
23. Should these remedies succeed so far as to make the Misanthrope feel some degree of satisfactory cheerfulness like the day-star arising in his heart, 2 Pet. i. 19. he might venture to taste some of the pleasures of
the Imagination, and of the senses: without which his cure would be always incomplete: he would not now either disdain them as mean and vicious; or devour them with too much avidity. They would enliven, and even strengthen him; as they would take off that softness or seriousness, which usually attends moral and religious pleasures: and enable him to bear the ruder gaity, nay perhaps some of the vices, of the man of the world, as far as the general good of mankind required that they should be born.
24. We may conclude our observations on the subject of misanthropy by observing, that the method here traced out appears as if it would not be wholly unsuccessful. Difficulties would, no doubt, arise in the execution of it, which would serve some men as pretences for desisting from it; but the mere attempt to execute it must be productive of much good: and the attempt is always in our power. Our expedients were, to improve our bodily health; to endeavour to rectify our notions; to apply ourselves to understand the works of the Creation; to aim at acquiring a relish for the more excellent works of art; to associate with the more worthy part of mankind; and to cultivate the Love of the all-perfect Being. These things could not but be useful to us, though they might not produce the full effect which we have had in view; though, at any particular season, we should still find some remains of gloomy malignity in our dispositions, We hazard nothing therefore; we have much to hope, and nothing to fear. Greater encouragement cannot be given to perseverance, nor can a stronger obligation be imposed to persevere.
END OF PART II.
HAVING considered the passion or senti
ment of Hatred, we now proceed to that of Envy; observing the same method as when Hatred in general (not the particular species of it called Misanthropy) was our subject. We are then to consider,
I. The Nature of Envy.
II. Its Effects, good and evil.
2. The Nature of Envy is much more easy to be understood than that of Hatred. Envy is that uneasy sentiment, of which we are conscious, when we observe the success of those with whom we compare ourselves, to be greater than our own. It is spoken of as malevolent because in fact it usually prompts men to wish harm to its objects; and most expressions, if not all, are taken from fact. The circumstance of comparison, or competition, is so striking a mark of Envy, that there is no need to enter into distinctions here, as on the subject of hatred; neither is there occasion to describe particularly the object of envy; but it may be very proper to suggest a caution, lest our remarks should seem more rarely applicable to practice than they really are.
3. A person may say, if there is no envy where there is no competition, I may make myself easy; for it very seldom happens that I am any man's competitor; but, in truth, we are engaged in more competitions than we are commonly aware of. Whenever any person has any sort of pretensions to what another acquires, be it advantage, or only applause, there subsists some degree of competition between them. Nay by sympathy we adopt the competitions of our friends. We have therefore only to reflect how very frequently partiality persuades us that we have pretensions, in order to see how constant is our danger of being influenced by the passion of envy.
We very frequently, or continually, feel pretensions, to what is attained, or pursued, by our neighbour, our companion, nay by our nearest and best beloved relation: Envy therefore may mix itself with our noblest. affections, and may disguise itself under various shapes, so that we shall act from it, whilst we are conscious of no evil intention; and without having it clearly and distinctly in view.
4. Envy is less personal than hatred; for any one may cease to be the object of envy, though he retain all his personal qualities, if only he be removed to a situation where he does not interfere with our pretensions. Nevertheless the personal presence of him whom we envy, heightens the passion considerably and our speaking or thinking of him, so as to make our idea of him more lively than usual, has the same sort of effect, in some degree.
5. Envy has been well distinguished from emulation; (a) or the faulty sort of envy, to which the name is commonly applied, from that which is innocent. When our uneasy sentiment, on seeing the success of our competitor, makes us endeavour to depress him to our level, it has the name of envy; when its effect is to make us exert ourselves in raising ourselves to his level, it takes the name of emulation. This distinction is made when occasion requires it; otherwise, that species of envy which most commonly occurs, is most usually expressed by the general term. Indeed, the difference be