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An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals

Now where is the difficulty in conceiving, that this may likewise be the case with
benevolence and friendship, and that, from the original frame of our temper, we may feel
a desire of another's happiness or good, which, by means of that affection, becomes our
own good, and is afterwards pursued, from the combined motives of benevolence and
self-enjoyments? Who sees not that vengeance, from the force alone of passion, may be
so eagerly pursued, as to make us knowingly neglect every consideration of ease, interest,
or safety; and, like some vindictive animals, infuse our very souls into the wounds we
give an enemy; [Footnote: Animasque in vulnere ponunt. VIRG, Dum alteri noceat, sui
negligens says Seneca of Anger. De Ira, I. i.] and what a malignant philosophy must it be,
that will not allow to humanity and friendship the same privileges which are undisputably
granted to the darker passions of enmity and resentment; such a philosophy is more like a
satyr than a true delineation or description of human nature; and may be a good
foundation for paradoxical wit and raillery, but is a very bad one for any serious
argument or reasoning.
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