unselfish relish of their pleasures


Hi everyone, the following extract is from 'Deaths of Little Children' by Leigh Hunt:
They do not pretend, indeed, that humanity might not wish, if it could, to be entirely free from pain; for it endeavours, at all times, to turn pain into pleasure: or at least to set off the one with the other, to make the former a zest and the latter a refreshment. The most unaffected dignity of suffering does this, and, if wise, acknowledges it. The greatest benevolence towards others, the most unselfish relish of their pleasures, even at its own expense, does but look to increasing the general stock of happiness, though content, if it could, to have its identity swallowed up in that splendid contemplation.
(My emphasis)

In the above sentences, although I'm fully aware of the early 19th century English language, I've still got quite confused about the actual meaning of the word "relish" in the phrase "unselfish relish of their pleasures": "relish" here seems to mean 'taste' or 'sense'?
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  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    The unselfish enjoyment of other people's pleasure. It means "taking pleasure in other people's pleasure".
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