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nation, and makes us, with avidity, search for the same gratification in whatever other object it can be found. And thus frequency and uniformity in gratifying the same pafsion upon diferent objects, produceth at the long-run a habit. In this manner, one acquires an habitual delight in high and poignant fauces, rich dress, fine equipages, crowds of company, and in whatever is commonly termed pleasure. There concurs at the same time, to introduce this habit, a peculiarity observed above, that reiteration of acts enlarges the capacity of the mind, to admit a more plentiful gratification than originally, with regard to frequency as well as quantity.
Hence it appears, that though a specific habit cannot be formed but upon a moderate pleasure,
a a generic habit may be formed with respect to a'ny sort of pleasure, moderate or immoderate, that hath variety of objects. The only difference is, that a weak pleasure runs naturally into a specific habit; whereas an intense pleature is altogether averse to such a habit. In a word, it is only in singular cases that a moderate pleasure produces a generic habit; but an intense pleasure cannot produce any other habit.
The appetites that respect the preservation and propagation of the species, are formed into habit in a peculiar manner : the time as well as measure of their gratification are much under the power of custom; which, by introducing a change upon the body, occasions a proportional
change in the appetites. Thus, if the body be gradually formed to a certain quantity of food at regular times, the appetite is regulated accordingly; and the appetite is again changed, when a different habit of body is introduced by a different practice. Here it would feem, that the change is not made upon the mind, which is commonly the case in passive habits, but upon the body.
When rich food is brought down by ingredients of a plainer taste, the composition is susceptible of a specific habit. Thus the sweet taste of fugar, rendered less poignant in a mixture, may, in course of time, produce a specific habit for such mixture. As moderate pleasures, by becoming more intense, tend to generic habits; so intense pleasures, by becoming more moderate, tend to specific habits.
The beauty of the human figure, by a special recommendation of nature, appears to us fupreme, amid the great variety of beauteous forms bestow'd upon animals. The various degrees in which individuals enjoy this property, render it an object, sometimes of a moderate, sometimes of an intense passion. The moderate passion, admitting frequent reiteration without diminution, and occupying the mind without exhausting it, becomes gradually stronger till it settle ina habit. Nay more, instances are not wanting, of an ugly face, at first disagreeable, afterward rendered indifferent by familiarity, and at the long-run agreeable by custom. On the other hand, consummate beauty, at the very first view, fills the mind so as to admit no increase. Enjoyment in this case lessens the pleasure *; and if often repeated, ends commonly in satiety and disgust. The impressions made successively by consummate beauty, Itrong at first, and gradually becoming faint, constitute a series opposite to that of faint impressions waxing gradually stronger, till they produce a specific liabit. But the mind, when accustomed to beauty, contracts a relish for it in general, though often repelled from particular objects by the pain of satiety: and thus a generic habit is formed, of which inconstancy in love is the necessary consequence ; for a generic habit, comprehending every beautiful object, is an invincible obstruction to a specific habit, which is confined to one.
able * See chap. 2. part 3.
But a matter which is of great importance to the youth of both sexes, deserves more than a cursory view. Though the pleasant emotion of beauty differs widely from the corporeal appetite, yet both coinciding may be directed to the fame object; and when that is the cafe, they produce a very strong complex passion t; which is incapable of increase, because the mind, as to pleasure, is limited rather more than as to pain : enjoyment in this case must be exquisite; and therefore more apt to produce satiety, than in any o
+ See chap. 2. part 4
ther case whatever. This is a never-failing effect, where consummate beauty in the one party, meets with a warm imagination and great sensibility in the other. What I am here explaining, is true without exaggeration; and they must be insensible
upon whom this doctrine makes no impression : it deserves well to be pondered by the young and the aniorous, who in forming the matrimonial society, are too often blindly impelled by the animal pleasure merely, inflamed by beauty. It may indeed happen, after this pleasure is gone, and go it must with a swift pace, that a new connection is formed upon more dignified and more lasting principles : but this is a dangerous experiment; for even supposing good sense, good temper, and internal merit of every fort, which is a very favourable supposition, yet a new connection upon these qualifications is rarely formed: it generally, or rather always happens, that such qualifications, the only folid foundation of an indiffoluble connection, are rendered altogether invisible, by fatiety of enjoyment creating disgust.
One effect of custom, different from any that have been explained, must not be omitted, because it makes a great figure in human nature: Though custom augments moderate pleasures, and lessens those that are intense, it has a different effect with respect to pain; for it blunts the edge of every sort of pain and distress, faint or a- acute, Uninterrupted misery, therefore, is at
tended with one good effect : if its torments be incessant, custom hardens us to bear them.
The changes made in forming habits, are curious. Moderate pleasures are augmented gradually by reiteration, till they become habitual; and then are at their height : but they are not long stationary; for from that point they gradually decay, till they vanish altogether. The pain occasioned by want of gratification, runs a different course: it increases uniformly ; and at last becomes extreme, when the pleasure of gratification is reduced to nothing:
It fo falls out,
Much ado about nothing, acl 4. fc. 2.
The effect of custom with relation to a specific habit, is display'd through all its varieties in the use of tobacco. The taste of this plant is at first extremely unpleasant ; our disgust leffens gradually, till it vanish altogether ; at which period the taste is neither agreeable nor disagreeable : continuing the use of this plant, we begin to relish it; and our relish improves by use, till it arrive at perfection : from this period it gradually decays, while the habit is in a state of increment, and consequently the pain of want. The result