* * * *
ON TRUE HAPPINESS.
The desire of happiness in general is so natural to us, that all the
world are in pursuit of it; all have this one end in view, though they
take such different methods to attain it, and are so much divided in
their notions of it.
Evil, as evil, can never be chosen; and, though evil is often the effect
of our own choice, yet we never desire it, but under the appearance of
an imaginary good.
Many things we indulge ourselves in may be considered by us as evils,
and yet be desirable; but then they are only considered as evils in
their effects and consequences, not as evils at present, and attended
with immediate misery.
Reason represents things to us not only as they are at present, but as
they are in their whole nature and tendency; passion only regards them
in the former light. When this governs us, we are regardless of the
future, and are only affected with the present. It is impossible ever to
enjoy ourselves rightly, if our conduct be not such as to preserve the
harmony and order of our faculties, and the original frame and
constitution of our minds; all true happiness, as all that is truly
beautiful, can only result from order.
While there is a conflict between the two principles of passion and
reason, we must be miserable in proportion to the struggle; and when the
victory is gained, and reason so far subdued as seldom to trouble us
with its remonstrances, the happiness we have then is not the happiness
of our rational nature, but the happiness only of the inferior and
sensual part of us, and, consequently, a very low and imperfect
happiness to what the other would have afforded us.
If we reflect upon any one passion and disposition of mind, abstract
from virtue, we shall soon see the disconnexion between that and true,
solid happiness. It is of the very essence, for instance, of envy to be
uneasy and disquieted. Pride meets with provocations and disturbances
upon almost every occasion. Covetousness is ever attended with
solicitude and anxiety. Ambition has its disappointments to sour us, but
never the good fortune to satisfy us; its appetite grows the keener by
indulgence, and all we can gratify it with at present serves but the
more to inflame its insatiable desires.
The passions, by being too much conversant with earthly objects, can
never fix in us a proper
John Pringle.Page 42
Yet I ought to have charity for these unhappy people, when I consider that, with all this wisdom of which I am boasting, there are certain things in the world so tempting, for example, the apples of King John, which, happily, are not to be bought; for if they were put to sale by auction, I might very easily be led to ruin myself in the purchase, and find that I had once more given too much for the _whistle_.Page 47
 Truth is brighter than light.Page 61
Two of our young hunters, having killed a deer, made a fire in the woods to broil some parts of it.Page 62
They did so, and, to their surprise, found plants they had never seen before, but which, from that ancient time, have been constantly cultivated among us, to our great advantage.Page 75
The husband gone, the ceremony begins.Page 79
It is from this circumstance that a Philadelphian may be known anywhere by his gait.Page 101
" * * * * * "_Lord Kames.Page 105
Pennsylvania Assembly has made such a law; New-York Assembly has refused to do it; and now all the talk here is, of sending a force to compel them.Page 131
Near the river-side I saw what I took to be a pleasant green meadow, in the middle of which was a large shady tree, where it struck my fancy I could sit and read (having a book in my pocket), and pass the time agreeably till the tide turned; I therefore prevailed with the captain to put me ashore.Page 158
He has associated to himself a very skilful English farmer, lately arrived here, who is to instruct him in the business, and partakes for a term of the profits; so that there is a great apparent probability of their success.Page 177
I therefore imagined that the internal parts might be a fluid more dense, and of greater specific gravity than any of the solids we are acquainted with, which therefore might swim in or upon that fluid.Page 190
cold bodies in cold ground; there only wants a sufficient quantity of this mixture to produce a true Aetna.Page 192
rumbling noise like that of thunder.Page 193
While organized bodies, animal or vegetable, are augmenting in growth, or are supplying their continual waste, is not this done by attracting and consolidating this fluid called fire, so as to form of it a part of their substance? And is it not a separation of the parts of such substance, which, dissolving its solid state, sets that subtile fluid at liberty, when it again makes its appearance as fire? For the power of man relative to matter seems limited to the separating or mixing the various kinds of it, or changing its form and appearance by different compositions.Page 198
Thus the pointed rod either prevents the stroke from the cloud, or, if a stroke is made, conducts it to the earth with safety to the building.Page 202
Thus the sun, shining on a morning fog, dissipates it; clouds are seen to waste in a sunshiny day.Page 214
1 Fig.Page 220
If part of this due proportion of fire be conducted away, by means of a contact with other bodies, as air, water, or metals, the parts of our skin and flesh that come into such contact first draw more near together than is agreeable, and give that sensation which we call cold; and if too much be conveyed away, the body stiffens, the blood ceases to flow, and death ensues.Page 246
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