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a complete gratification of all the wishes of man, whose desires are as unlimited as his power is bounded. The most important however, may be considered as comprehended in the following series: - First, our desire of continued existence, without any immediate regard to the pleasure which it may yield,-Secondly, our desire of pleasure, considered directly as mere pleasure,-Tbirdly, Oor desire of action, Fourthly, Our desire of society,-Fifthly, Our desire of knowledge,-Sixthly, Our desire of power,-direct, as in ambition, or indirect as in avarice,-Seventhly, Our desire of the affection or esteem of those around us,-Eighthly, Our desire of glory,-Ninthly, Our desire of the happiness of others,-and, Tentbly, Our desire of the unhappiness of those whom we hate. On these it is my intention to offer a few brief remarks, in the or
a der in which I have now stated them.
I must observe, however, in the first place, that each of these desires may exist in different forms, according to the degree of probability of the attainment of its object. When there is little if any probability, it constitutes what is termed a mere wish; when the probability is stronger, it becomes what is called hope ; with still greater probability, expectation; and, with a probability that approaches certainty, confidence. This variation of the form of the desire, according to the degrees of probability, is, of course, not confined to any particular desire, but may run through all the desires which I have enumerated, and every other desire of which the mind is, or may be supposed to be capable.
Hope, therefore, important as it is to our happiness, is not to be considered as a distinct emotion, but merely as one of the forms in which all our desires are capable of existing. It is not the less valuable on this account, however, but, on the contrary, the more truly precious, since it thus confers on us, not one delight only, but everything, or almost everything, which it is in our power even to wish. What hour of our waking existence is there, to which it has not given happiness or consolation ?
I need not speak of the credulous alacrity of our wishes, in our early years, when we had only trifles, indeed, to desire, but trifles, which were as important to us, as the more splendid baubles that were probably to occupy, with a change of follies, our maturer ambition. " Gay hope is theirs," is one of the expres
“ sions, in reference to the happiness of boyhood, in Gray's well
known Ode; and there can be no question, that, even at that period, when we do not look very far forward, still a great part of the happiness that is felt, even when there is so much boisterous merriment of the present, is derived from a prospect of that little futurity which is never wholly absent from the view,-a futurity which may not in this case extend beyond the happy period of the next holidays, but which is still a field of hope, as much as that ampler field which is ever opening wider and wider on the gaze of manhood. In opening, indeed, thus wider and wider, it extends itself only to extend the empire of our wishes. There is, then, no happiness which hope cannot promise,-na difficulty which it cannot surmount,—no grief which it cannot mitigate. It is the wealth of the indigent, the health of the sick, the freedom of the captive. There are thoughts of future ease, which play, with a delightful illusion, around the heart of him who has been born in poverty, bred in poverty,—who, since the very hour when his arms were first capable of as much labour as could earn one morsel of his scanty meal, has spent his life, not in labour merely, but in unremitting fatigue,-to whom, since that very hour, a day of ease has been as much unknown, as a day of empire, with the exception of that single day, which, in its weekly return, is a season of comfort at once to the body and to the mind,---giving rest to him who has no other rest, and revealing to him, at the same time, that future world, which is the world of those who have toiled on earth, at least, as much as the world of those who have subsisted by the toils of others. On the bed of sickness, how ready is the victim of disease to form those flattering presages which others cannot form,—to see, in the tranquil looks of those who assume a serenity which they do not feel, a confident expectation of recovery, which has long in their hearts given place to despair,and to form plans of many future years, perhaps, in that very hour which is to be the last hour of earthly existence. If we could see all those wild visions of future deliverance, which rise, not to the dreams merely, but to the waking thought of the galley-slave who has been condemned to the oar for life, we should see, indeed, what might seem madness to every heart but his, to which these visions are in some measure like the momentary possession of the freedom of which he is for ever to be deprived; and, in this very madness of credulous expectation, so admirably adapted to a mis
ery that admits of no earthly expectation which reason can justify, we should see at once the omnipotence of the principle of hope, and the benevolence of him who has fixed that principle in our minds, to be the comfort even of despair itself, or at least of miseries, in which all but the miserable themselves would despair.
Such is the influence of hope through all the years of our existence. As soon as we have learned what is agreeable, it delights us with the prospect of attaining it; as soon as we have lost it, it delights us with the prospect of its return. It is our flatterer and comforter in boyhood ; it is our flatterer and comforter in years which need still more to be flattered and comforted. What it promises, indeed, is different in these different years; but the kindness and irresistible persuasion with which it makes the promise are still the same; and, while we laugh, in advanced age, at the easy confidence of our youth in wishes which seem incapable of deceiving us now, we are still, as to other objects of desire, the same credulous, confiding beings, whom it was then so easy to make happy. Nor is it only over terrestrial things that it diffuses its delightful radiance. The power which attends us with consolation, and with more than consolation, through the anxieties and labours of our life, does not desert us at the close of that life which it has blessed or consoled. It is present with us in our last moment. We look to scenes which are opening on us above, and we look to those around us, with an expectation still stronger than the strongest hope, that, in the world which we are about to enter, we shall not have only remembrances of what we loved and revered on earth, but that the friendships from which it is so painful to part, even in parting to Heaven, will be restored to us there, to unite us again in affection more ardent, because unmingled with the anxieties of other cares, and in still purer adoration of that Great Being, whose perfections, as far as they were then dimly seen by us, it was our delight to contemplate together on earth, when it was only on earth that we could trace them, but on that earth which seemed holier, and lovlier, and more divine, when thus joined in our thought with the Excellence that made it.
Hope, then, which is thus universal in its promises, and unceasing in the influence which it exercises, is not to be considered as one emotion merely, but as all our desires, however various
their objects may be. We wish, we hope, we expect, we confide ; or, if there were other words which could express different degrees of the certainty of our attainment of what we desire, we might employ them with propriety; since every additional degree of certainty, or even any greater vividness of interest in the object itself, varies, in some measure, the nature of the desire which we feel. It is enough for you, however, to understand, -with respect to these words which express the more remarkable shades of difference,—that to wish, to hope, to expect, to trust, though expressive of feelings that must always be different, whether the objects of these feelings be different or the same, yet do not form classes of feelings essentially distinct from our general emotions of desire, but are merely those emotions themselves, in all their variety, according as we conceive that there is more or less likelihood of our obtaining the particular objects which we are desirous of obtaining. In a competition of any kind, in which there are many candidates, there is perhaps some one candidate who is aware that he has very little interest, and who has, therefore, scarcely more than a mere wish of success. He canvasses the electors, and he finds, to his surprise, perhaps, that many votes are given to him. He no longer wishes merely, he hopes ; and,
; with every new vote that is promised, his hope grows more vivid. A very few votes additional convert the hope into expectation ; and, when a decided majority is engaged to him by promise, even expectation is too weak a word to express the emotion which he feels ;-it is trust, confidence, reliance, or whatever other word we may choose to express that modification of desire which is not the joy of absolute certainty, like the actual attainment of an agreeable object, and yet scarcely can be said to differ from certainty. In this series of emotions, nothing has occurred to modify them but a mere increase of probability in the successive stages ; and the same scale of probabilities, which admits of being thus accurately measured in an election that is numbered by votes, exists truly, though, perhaps, less distinctly, in every other case of desire, in which we rise from a mere wish to the most undoubting confidence.
You will understand, then, without the necessity of any further illustration, that hope and the various forms of our wishes and reliances, more or less vivid, are not a separate class of emotions, but are only names of all our desires, that vary according to the
prospect of attainment which their objects seem to us to present. We may wish, hope, expect, or trust, in our attainment of some rattie in childhood, as we wish, hope, expect, or trust, that we are to attain the scarf, or garter, or gold, which is the amusement of our riper age. Even when we think of the noblest objects that can fill our mere earthly desires,-of the happiness of nations, or of the whole animated world, when the patriot rises to shake some ferocious invader from that throne, to which he had risen by trampling on the bodies of those who had rushed boldly, but unsuccessfully, forward in the same heroic spirit of national freedom and deliverance,—or when the philosoper looks, through many ages of futurity, to the years which, as he trusts, are to perfect the great plans of heaven, in the diffusion of happiness and virtue to mankind,-he wishes, hopes, expects, confides, as the triflers around him are wishing and confiding; the only difference is, that the very wishes of the patriot and of the general philanthropist, are wishes which, though they should never be realized, it is dignity to feel even as wishes; and that the vain and sensual objects which occupy the whole heart of the idle and the profligate, are objects which it is disgraceful to desire with passion, and still greater disgrace, and still greater misery, even for those who have been capable of thus passionately desiring them, to obtain.
There is one other preliminary remark, which it may be necessary to make, before entering on the consideration of our separate desires. In the arrangement of our emotions, you must have observed, that no peculiar place has been set apart by me for the Passions; the reason of which is, that our passions are truly no separate class, but merely a name for our desires, when very vivid, or very permanent. It is impossible to state in words, at what degree of vividness or permanence, we cease to speak of a desire, and term it a passion. This, it is probable, that different individuals would do very variously; but all, unquestionably, would use these different terms, when there is any very remarkable diference in these respects. A slight desire of higher station, which comes upon us at intervals, and is soon forgotten in the cares, or in the delightful occupations of domestic life, no one would think of calling a passion, more than the individual himself; who smiles, perhaps, sometimes at his own little dreams of ambition, as if they