Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/64

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people will not maintain when they are slaves to superstition; and candour and a sense of justice are, in such a case, the first things lost.

Pleasures differ sensibly in intensity; but the intensest pleasures are often the blindest, and it is hard to recall or estimate a feeling with which no definite and complex object is conjoined. The first step in making pleasure intelligible and capable of being pursued is to make it pleasure in something. The object it suffuses acquires a value, and gives the pleasure itself a place in rational life. The pleasure can now be named, its variations studied in reference to changes in its object, and its comings and goings foreseen in the order of events. The more articulate the world that produces emotion the more controllable and recoverable is the emotion itself. Therefore diversity and order in ideas makes the life of pleasure richer and easier to lead. A voluminous dumb pleasure might indeed outweigh the pleasure spread thin over a multitude of tame perceptions, if we could only weigh the two in one scale; but to do so is impossible, and in memory and prospect, if not in experience, diversified pleasure must needs carry the day.

Here we come upon a crisis in human development which shows clearly how much the Life of Reason is a natural thing, a growth that a different course of events might well have excluded. Laplace is reported to