“It is a well-known fact that few persons can stand safely on the edge of a precipice, or walk along the parapet wall of a house, without being in danger of throwing themselves down; not we presume from a principle of self-preservation; but in consequence of a strong idea having taken possession of their mind, from which it cannot well escape, which absorbs every other consideration, and confounds and overrules all self-regards.  The impulse cannot in this case be resolved into a desire to remove the uneasiness of fear, for the only danger arises from the fear.  We have been told by a person, not at all given to exaggeration, that he once felt a strong propensity to throw himself into a cauldron of boiling lead, into which he was looking.  These are what Shakespear[e] calls 'the toys of desperation.'  People sometimes marry, and even fall in love on this principle -- that is, through mere apprehension, or what is called a fatality.  In like manner, we find instances of persons who are as it were naturally delighted with whatever is disagreeable, -- who catch all sorts of unbecoming tones and gestures, -- who always say what they should not, and what they do not mean to say, -- in whom intemperance of imagination and incontinence of tongue are a disease, and who are governed by an almost infallible instinct of absurdity …. Nothing can be more untrue, than that the whole course of our ideas, passions, and pursuits, is regulated by a regard to self-interest.  Our attachment to certain objects is much oftener in proportion to the strength of the impression they make on us, to their power of rivetting and fixing the attention, than to the gratification we derive from them.”  --  William Hazlitt (1778–1830), Mind and Motive