— 714 —
Thirdly, predominant Passions.
      §12. Thirdly, Probabilities, which cross Men’s Appetites, and
— 715 —
prevailing Passions, run the same Fate. Let never so much Probability
hang on one side of a covetous Man’s Reasoning, and Money on the
other; and it is easie to foresee which will out-weigh. Earthly Minds,
like Mud-Walls, resist the strongest Batteries: and though, perhaps,
sometimes the force of a clear Argument may make some Impres-
sion, yet they nevertheless stand firm, keep out the Enemy Truth,
that would captivate, or disturb them. Tell a Man, passionately in
Love, that he is jilted; bring a score of Witnesses of the Falshood of
his Mistress, ’tis ten to one but three kind Words of hers, shall
invalidate all their Testimonies. Quod volumus, facilè credimus; Cf. Caesar, De Bello Civili, II, 27; De Bello Gallico, III, 18; and Bacon, Novum Organum, I, 49. what
suits our Wishes, is forwardly believed, is, I suppose, what every one
hath more than once experimented: and though Men cannot always
openly gain-say, or resist the force of manifest Probabilities, that
make against them; yet yield they not to the Argument. Not but
that it is the Nature of the Understanding constantly to close with
the more probable side, but yet a Man hath a Power to suspend and
restrain its Enquiries, and not permit a full and satisfactory Exami-
nation, as far as the matter in Question is capable, and will bear it to
be made. Until that be done, there will be always these two ways left
of evading the most apparent Probabilities.
Locke Hum IV, 20, §12, pp. 714-715