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BOOK to their love or hatred, and accordingly as they are stirred to the asperities of anger, or soothed into the softness of pity. Through those different affections their opinions will be shaken, and sometimes totally changed. Thus, under the impression of good-will or compassion for a delinquent, his judges will often declare him innocent, and always regard him as far less culpable than hatred or bare indifference would represent him. To a man goaded by desires, and sanguine in hope, the prospect of imagined pleasures will appear to be easily realised, and to be fraught with the purest joy: the reverse of this will appear to men of despondent tempers, adverse to such pleasures, or barely indifferent to them.
The three requisites
credit to a
To procure credit for our discourse through for gaining means of our own character, and independently discourse, of proofs or arguments, there are three requiindepend- sites: the hearers must repose confidence in our ently of argument. wisdom, and in our virtue, and in our good-will towards themselves. If any of these three be wanting, the speaker may be safely disregarded; for either through ignorance, he will be incapable of discerning what is best, or careless of proposing it; and that, either through the general pravity of his nature, or through want of zeal in the cause. Beside these three, there can be no other source of deception; so that he who is exempt from them all, must be entitled to complete credit.
Transition to the doc
How the speaker is to give this favourable trine of the impression of himself, has partly been explained
above, in treating of the virtues, for, with the CHAP. same propositions and inferences by which he has set off and emblazoned the merits of others, passions: he may exhibit, and do justice to his own: but necessity how he is to create the opinion of his good- ing it. will for his hearers, and their favourable disposition towards himself, we proceed now to explain, in the following disquisition on the passions. The judgments of men change with these agitations of the mind, and their accompanying pains or pleasures; I mean, with anger, pity, fear, and all such like emotions, and their contraries. In explaining each of them dis- In explaintinctly, three points must be attended to: in ing the anger, for example, we must first consider who each pasare the persons most susceptible of this passion; points secondly, who are they most likely to be its must be objects; thirdly, what are the causes and circumstances which most naturally produce or occasion it. The knowledge of one or two of these things will not suffice: they must be all known exactly in order, to manage any of the passions; to move or to appease them. We proceed, therefore, to investigate the topics relative to this subject, in our accustomed manner.
fined - its
"LET anger, then, be defined an emotion ac- CHAP. companied with pain; impelling us to inflict open punishment for any apparent contempt towards Anger deourselves or those belonging to us." If this be natural oban accurate description of anger, it follows, that jects. individuals only can be its objects. We cannot be angry with things taken in the abstract; for in
BOOK stance, with man in general, but with a particular man, as Cleon; who insults, or is prepared to insult ourselves, or those dear to us. It follows also, that all anger contains in it a mixture of pleasure, arising from the prospect of its gratification for it is pleasant to obtain the objects of our desires; but manifest impossibilities can never constitute such objects. The passion of anger is directed, therefore, to things possible and practicable; the expected attainment of which darts a spark of gladness into the bosom. Wherefore, Homer says,
But, oh! ye gracious powers above,
But, further, that this, the angry emotion work-
Excited by Contempt is the open expression of our opicontempt, nions and feelings concerning objects of no three ways. value; things incapable of producing pain or pleasure, of doing good or harm; for whatever may cause much of the one or the other, will be treated, not with contempt, but, on the contrary, with very serious regard. Contempt may be testified in three ways; by disdain, by offence, 1. Disdain. and by insult. Things of no value are disdained 2. Offence. as below our notice. Offence is opposition to the views of another, merely for the sake of opposing them. It is that wanton vexation, which
+ Iliad xviii. v. 140.
could never be exercised towards one supposed CHAP. capable of hurting us, for then we should fear him; nor towards one supposed capable of benefiting us, for then we should endeavour to conciliate his good-will. Insult consists in the 3. Insult. infliction of such injuries as are accompanied with shame, and that, not from any past grudge, or for any future profit, but merely to enjoy the mortification of the person affronted. Those who retaliate, do not insult, but requite; and are pleased in gratifying their resentment; but the pleasure of him who affronts is derived from the conceit which the insult committed gives him of his own superiority. The young Who most and the rich are therefore prone to insolence; for insult, for thus they think that their respective advan- and who tages are most signally displayed. To affront, strongly dishonours; and he who dishonours, contemns, provoked by it. holding the dishonoured in no estimation. By this Achilles is provoked, not by the loss of Briseis.
O parent Goddess! since in early bloom
Oh! soul of battles, and thy people's guide,
Iliad, 1. 460.
3 Iliad, ix. 757.
BOOK Men, jealous of honour, are most commonly to be found among the noble, the powerful, the virtuous, and those in any other respect preeminent. All such think themselves entitled to respect, from persons deficient in the advantages in which themselves abound; as the rich from the poor; the persuasive orator from him who is unable to raise his voice, even in his own defence; above all, those vested with just authority, from their natural and proper subjects. Wherefore, Homer says,
Beware! for dreadful is the wrath of kings. 4
For though we deem the short-lived fury past,
The conspicuous station which they hold, makes all such persons peculiarly sensible to any kind of affront. The same sensibility is increased, when the affront comes from those whose behaviour ought to have been respectful or grateful; on whom, we or our friends have bestowed favours, and towards whom we have before shown, or actually testify, a very favourable disposition.
From the explanation thus given of the nature most liable of anger, we may perceive what sorts of persons
The state of those
to anger, and the
are most liable to be moved by it, by whom they causes that are most easily to be provoked, and through
render it most violent.
what causes and circumstances the provocation
is likely to occur. First, as to the actual state and disposition of those most liable to anger,