Fielding’s comment first appeared on my radar about 35 years ago, then I forgot about it, then found it again when re-reading Joseph Andrews.  Much of Fielding’s writing promotes such uncomplicated good nature. 

Good-nature is that benevolent and amiable temper of mind which disposes us to feel the misfortunes, and enjoy the happiness of others; and consequently pushes us on to promote the latter, and prevent the former; and that without any abstract contemplation on the beauty of virtue, and without the allurements and terrors of religion.

I particularly liked that it is free of ‘abstract contemplation on the beauty of virtue’, let alone being impelled by various allurements or terrors. 

Source: Henry Fielding, Essay on the Knowledge of the Characters of Men, quoted in Joseph Andrews (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1978), Introduction, p. 13


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