Passion, a term employed to denote the actual degree of desire, or aversion, prevalent in the human mind, on realizing certain affections.
The passions may be divided into two classes ; namely, those which are of an agreeable nature, and such as are calculated to produce a contrary effect. To the former chiefly belong hope, joy, desire, and love ; to the latter, sorrow, envy, hatred, fear, terror, anger, etc. on the nature of which, we occasionally treat in the progress of this work.
The influence of the passions on the human frame, is truly astonishing : sometimes they operate su denly, at others slowly, and almost imperceptibly ; but their effects are equally certain. Thus, sudden joy, and long continued sorrow, may become alike fatal; both terminating in death : the phlegmatic and indolent, however, are less subject to their sway than those, who possess great sensibility, with an acute understanding.
All violent passions are of a dangerous tendency, and not unfre-quently lay the foundation of incurable disorders. Hence those, who have any regard for their health, cannot exercise too strict dominion over their passions and affections : and, though the particular mode in. which they act upon the human constitution, has not hitherto been determined, yet there doubtless subsists an intimate connexion between the mind and the body ; for whatever injures the one, disorders the other.
The inquisitive reader, who wishes to derive information on this interesting subject, will peruse Dr. Cogan's truly Philosophical Treatise on the Passions (8vo. pp. 367, 8s. 6d. Cadell and Davies, J 800), in which amusement is blended with instruction.