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never persuade myself that pleasure and pain are mere relations, which can only exist as they are contrasted ; but I think I can discern clearly, that there are positive pains and pleasures, which do not all depend on each other. Nothing is more certain to my own feelings than this. There is nothing which I can distinguish in my mind with more clearness, than the three states, of indifference, of pleasure, and of pain. Every one of these I can perceive without any sort of idea of its relation to any thing else. Caius is afflicted with a fit of the cholic; this man is actually in pain : stretch Caius upon the rack, he will feel a much greater pain; but does this pain of the rack arise from the removal of any pleasure? or is the fit of the cholic a pleasure or a pain just as we are pleased to con. sider it?
SECT. III.-THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE RE.
MOVAL OF PAIN AND POSITIVE PLEASURE.
We shall carry this proposition yet a step farther. We shall venture to propose, that pain and pleasure are not only not necessarily dependent for their existence on their mutual diminution or removal, but that, in reality, the diminution or ceasing of pleasure does not operate like positive pain; and that the removal or diminution of pain, in its effect, has very little resemblance to positive pleasure. The former of these propositions will, I believe, be much more readily allowed than the latter; because it is very evident that pleasure, when it has run its career, sets us down very nearly where it found us. Pleasure of every kind quickly satisfies; and, when
* Mr. Locke [Essay on Human Understanding, l. ii. c. 20. sect. 16.) thinks that the removal or lessening of a pain is considered and operates as a pleasure, and the loss or diminishing of a pleasure as a pain. It is this opinion which we consider here.
it is over, we relapse into indifference, or rather we fall into a soft tranquillity, which is tinged with the agreeable colour of the former sensation. I own it is not at first view so apparent, that the removal of a great pain does not resemble positive pleasure; but let us recollect in what state we have found our minds upon escaping some imminent danger, or on being released from the severity of some cruel pain. We have on such occasions found, if I am not much mistaken, the temper of our minds in a tenor very remote from that which attends the presence of positive pleasure; we have found them in a state of much sobriety, impressed with a sense of awe, in a sort of tranquillity shadowed with horror. The fashion of the countenance, and the gesture of the body on such occasions, is so correspondent to this state of mind, that any person, a stranger to the cause of the appearance, would rather judge us under some consternation, than in the enjoyment of any thing like positive pleasure.
“Ως δ' όταν ανδρ’ ατη πυκινη λαβη, οστ' ενι πατρη
Hom. Iliad. xxiv.
All gaze, all wonder! This striking appearance of the man whom Homer supposes to have just escaped an imminent danger, the sort of mixed passion of terror and surprise, with which he affects the spectators, paints very strongly the manner in which we find ourselves af. fected upon occasions any way similar. For when we have suffered from any violent emotion, the mind naturally continues in something like the same condition, after the cause which first produced it has ceased to operate. The tossing of the sea remains after the storm; and when this remain of horror has entirely subsided, all the passion, which the accident raised, subsides along with it; and the mind returns to its usual state of indifference. In short, pleasure (I mean any thing either in the inward sensation, or in the outward appearance, like pleasure from a positive cause ) has never, I imagine, its origin from the removal of pain or danger. SECT. IV.OF DELIGHT AND PLEASURE AS
OPPOSED TO EACH OTHER. But shall we therefore say, that the removal of pain, or its diminution, is always simply painful ? or affirm that the cessation or the lessening of pleasure is always attended itself with a pleasure? By no means. What I advance is no more than this; first, that there are pleasures and paius of a positive and independent nature; and, secondly, that the feeling which results from the ceasing or diminution of pain does not bear a sufficient resemblance to positive pleasure, to have it considered as of the same nature, or to entitle it to be known by the same name; and, thirdly, that upon the same prin. ciple, the removal or qualification of pleasure has no resemblance to positive pain. It is certain that the former feeling (the removal or moderation of pain) has something in it far from distressing or disagreeable in its nature. This feeling, in many cases so agreeable, but in all so different from positive pleasure, has no name which I know; but that hinders not its being a very real one, and very different from all others. It is most certain, that every species of satisfaction or pleasure, how different soever in its manner of affecting, is of a positive nature in the mind of him who feels it. The affection is un
doubtedly positive; but the cause may be, as in this case it certainly is, a sort of Privation. And it is very reasonable that we should distinguish, by some term, two things so distinct in nature, as a pleasure that is such simply, and without any rela. tion, from that pleasure which cannot exist without a relation, and that too a relation to pain. Very extraordinary it would be, if these affections, so distinguishable in their causes, so different in their effects, should be confounded with each other, because vulgar use has ranged them under the same general title. Whenever I have occasion to speak of this species of relative pleasure, I call it Delight: and I shall take the best care I can to use that word in no other sense. I am satisfied the word is not commonly used in this appropriated significą. tion; but I thought it better to take up a word al, ready known, and to limit its signification, than to introduce a new one, which would not perhaps.in. corporate so well with the language. I should never have presumed the least alteration in our words, if the nature of the language, framed for the purposes of business rather than those of philosophy, and the nature of my subject that leads me out of the common track of discourse, did not in a manner necessitate me to it. I shall make use of this liberty with all possible caution. As I make use of the word Delight to express the sensation which accompanies the removal of pain or danger; so when I speak of positive pleasure, I shall for the most part call it simply Pleasure.
SECT. V.-JOY AND GRIEF. It must be observed, that the cessation of pleasure affects the mind three ways. If it simply ceases, after having continued a proper time, the effect is indifference; if it be abruptly broken off, there en. sues an uneasy sense called disappointment; if the object be so totally lost that there is no chance of enjoying it again, a passion arises in the mind which is called grief. Now, there is none of these, not even grief, which is the most violent, that I think has any resemblance to positive pain. The person who grieves, suffers his passion to grow upon him; he indulges it, he loves it; but this never happens in the case of actual pain, which no man ever will. ingly endured for any considerable time. That grief should be willingly endured, though far from a simple pleasing sensation, is not so difficult to be understood. It is the nature of grief to keep its object perpetually in its eye, to present it in its most pleasurable views, to repeat all the circumstances that attend it, even to the last minuteness; to go back to every particular enjoyment, to dwell upon each, and to find a thousand new perfections in all, that were not sufficiently understood before; in grief, the pleasure is still uppermost; and the affiction we suffer has no resemblance to absolute pain, which is always odious, and which we endeavour to shake off as soon as possible. The Odyssey of Homer, which abounds with so many natural and affecting images, has none more striking than those which Menelaus raises of the calamitous fate of his friends, and his own manner of feeling it. He owns, iudeed, that he often gives himself some intermission from such melancholy reflections; but he observes too, that, melancholy as they are, they give him pleasure. Αλλ'