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the case at the time, and immediately after the humiliation he suffered, remains with him. It was the sentiment of his ripening youth; it was the opinion of his opening manhood; and it still attends him, when he is already fast yielding to the incroachments and irresistible assaults of declining years.
OF LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP.
Who is it that says, “There is no love but among equals ?” Be it who it may, it is a saying universally known, and that is in every one's mouth. The contrary is precisely the truth, and is the great secret of every thing that is admirable in our moral nature.
By love it is my intention here to understand, not a calm, tranquil, and, as it were, half-pronounced feeling, but a passion of the inind. We may doubtless entertain an approbation of other men, without adverting to the question how they stand in relation to ourselves, as equals or otherwise. But the sentiment I am here considering, is that where the person in whom it resides most strongly sympathises with the joys and sorrows of another, desires his gratification, hopes for his welfare, and shrinks from the anticipation of his being injured; in a word, is the sentiment which has most the spirit of sacrifice in it, and prepares the person in whom it dwells, to postpone his own advantage to the advantage of him who is the object of it.
Having placed love among the passions, which is no vehement assumption, I then say, there can be no passion, and by consequence no love, where
there is not imagination. In cases where every thing is understood, and measured, and reduced to rule, love is out of the question. Whenever this sentiment prevails, I must have my attention fixed more on the absent than the present, more upon what I do not see than on what I do see. My thoughts will be taken up with the future or the “past, with what is to come or what has been. Of the present there is necessarily no image. Sentiment is nothing, till you have arrived at a mystery and a veil, something that is seen obscurely, that is just hinted at in the distance, that has neither certain outline nor colour, but that is left for the mind to fill up according to its pleasure and in the best manner it is able.
The great model of the affection of love in human beings, is the sentiment which subsists between parents and children.
Let not this appear a paradox. There is another relation in human society to which this epithet has more emphatically been given : but, if we analyse the matter strictly, we shall find that all that is most sacred and beautiful in the passion between the sexes, bas relation to offspring. What Milton calls, “The rites mysterious of connubial love,” would have little charm in them in reflection, to a mind one degree above the brutes, were it not for the mystery they include, of their tendency to give existence to a new human creatare like ourselves. Were it not for this circumstance, a man and a wo
man would hardly ever have learned to live together; there scarcely could have been such a thing as domestic society; but every intercourse of this sort would have been “casual, joyless, unendeared;" and the propensity would have brought along with it nothing more of beauty, lustre and grace, than the pure animal appetites of hunger and thirst. Bearing in mind these considerations, I do not therefore hesitate to say, that the great model of the affection of love in human beings, is the sentiment which subsists between parents and children.
The original feature in this sentiment is the conscious feeling of the protector and the protected. Our passions cannot subsist in lazy indolence; passion and action must operate on each other ; passion must produce action, and action give strength to the tide of passion. We do not vehemently desire, where we can do nothing. It is in a very faint way that I entertain a wish to possess the faculty of flying; and an ordinary man can scarcely be said to desire to be a king or an emperor. None but a madman, of plebeian rank, falls in love with a princess. But shew me a good thing within my reach; convince me that it is in my power to attain it; demonstrate to me that it is fit for me, and I am fit for it; then begins the career of passion. In the same manner, I cannot love a person vehemently, and strongly interest myself in his miscarriages or success, till I feel that I can be something to him. Love cannot dwell in a state of impotence. To
affect and be affected, this is the common nature I require; this is the being that is like unto myself; all other likeness resides in the logic and the definition, but has nothing to do with feeling or with practice.
What can be more clear and sound in explanation, than the love of a parent to his child? The affection he bears and its counterpart are the ornaments of the world, and the spring of every thing that makes life worth having. Whatever besides has a tendency to illustrate and honour our nature, descends from these, or is copied from these, grows out of them as the branches of a tree from the trunk, or is formed upon them as a model, and derives from them its shape, its character, and its soul. Yet there are men so industrious and expert to strip the world we live in of all that adorns it, that they can see nothing glorious in these affections, but find the one to be all selfishness, and the other all prejudice and superstition.
The love of the parent to his child is nursed and fostered by two plain considerations ; first, that the subject is capable of receiving much, and secondly, that my power concerning it is great and extensive.
When an infant is presented to my observation, what a wide field of sentiment and reflection is opened to me! Few minds are industrious and ductile enough completely to compass this field, if the infant is only accidentally brought under their view. But, if it is an infant with which I begin to