Moral Philosophy

Chapter IV: Of Passions.

Section I. -- Of Passions in General.

1. A PASSION is defined to be: A movement of the irrational part of the soul, affected by a notable alteration of the body, on the apprehension of good or evil. The soul is made up of intellect, will, and sensible appetite. The first two are rational, the third irrational: the third is the seat of the passions. In a disembodied spirit, or an angel, there are no senses, no sensible appetite, no passions. The angel, or the departed soul, can love and hate, fear and desire, rejoice and grieve, but these are not passions in the pure spirit, they are acts of intellect and will alone. So man also often loves and hates, and does other acts that are synonymous with corresponding passions, and yet no passion is there. The man is working with his calm reason: his irrational soul is not stirred. To an author, when he is in the humour for it, it is a delight to be writing, but not a passionate delight. The will finds satisfaction in the act: the irrational soul is not affected by it. Or a penitent is sorry for his sin: he sincerely regrets it before God: his will is heartily turned away, and wishes that that sin had never been. At the same time his eye is dry, his features unmoved, not a sigh does he utter, and yet he is truly sorry. It is important to bear these facts in mind: else we shall be continually mistaking for passions what are pure acts of will, or vice versa, misled by the identity of name.

2. The great mark of a passion is its sensible working of itself out upon the body, -- what Dr. Bain calls "the diffusive wave of emotion." Without this mark there is no passion, but with it are other mental states besides passions, as we define them. All strong emotion affects the body sensibly, but not all emotions are passions. There are emotions that arise from and appertain to the rational portion of the soul. Such are Surprise, Laughter, Shame. There is no sense of humour in any but rational beings; and though dogs look ashamed and horses betray curiosity, that is only inasmuch as in these higher animals there is something analogous to what is reason in man. Moreover passions are conversant with good and evil affecting sense, but the objects of such emotions as those just mentioned are not good and evil as such, common parlance notwithstanding, whereby we are said to laugh at a bon mot, or "a good thing."

3. Love is a generic passion, having for its species desire and delight, the contraries of which are abhorrence and pain. Desire is of absent good; abhorrence is of absent evil; delight is in present good; pain is at present evil. The good and the evil which is the object of any passion must be apprehended by sense, or by imagination in a sensible way, whether itself be a thing of sense or not.

4. Desire and abhorrence, delight and pain, are conversant with good and evil simply. But good is often attainable only by an effort, and evil avoidable by an effort. The effort that good costs to attain casts a shade of evil or undesirableness over it: we may shrink from the effort while coveting the good. Again, the fact of evil being at all avoidable is a good thing about such evil. If we call evil black, and good white, avoidable evil will be black just silvering into grey: and arduous good will be white with a cloud on it. And if the white attracts, and the black repels the appetite, it appears that arduous good is somewhat distasteful, to wit, to the faint-hearted; and avoidable, or vincible, evil has its attraction for the man of spirit. About these two objects, good hard of getting and evil hard of avoidance, arise four other passions, hope and despair about the former, fear and daring about the latter. Hope goes out towards a difficult good: despair flies from it, the difficulty here being more repellent than the good is attractive. Fear flies from a threatening evil: while daring goes up to the same, drawn by the likelihood of vanquishing it. Desire and abhorrence, delight and pain, hope and despair, fear and daring, with anger and hatred (of which presently), complete our list of passions.

5. Aristotle and his school of old, called Peripatetics, recommended the moderation of the passions, not their extirpation. The Stoics on the other hand contended that the model man, the sage, should be totally devoid of passions. This celebrated dispute turned largely on the two schools not understanding the same thing by the word passion. Yet not entirely so. There was a residue of real difference, and it came to this. If the sensitive appetite stirs at all, it must stir in one or other of nine ways corresponding to the nine passions which we have enumerated. Such an emotion as Laughter affects the imagination and the sensitive part of man, and of course the body visibly, but it does not stir the sensitive appetite, since it does not prompt to action. To say then that a man has no passions, means that the sensitive appetite never stirs within him, but is wholly dead. But this is impossible, as the Stoic philosopher was fain to confess when he got frightened in a storm at sea. Having no passions cannot in any practical sense mean having no movements of the sensitive appetite, for that will be afoot of its own proper motion independent of reason: but it may mean cherishing no passions, allowing none to arise unresisted, but suppressing their every movement to the utmost that the will can. In that sense it is a very intelligible and practical piece of advice, that the wise man should labour to have no passions. It is the advice embodied in Horace's Nil admirari, Talleyrand's "No zeal," Beaconsfield's "Beware of enthusiasm." It would have man to work like a scientific instrument, calm as a chronometer, regulated by reason alone. This was the Stoic teaching, this the perfection that they inculcated, quite a possible goal to make for, if not to attain. And it is worth a wise man's while to consider, whether he should bend his efforts in this direction or not. The determination here taken and acted upon will elaborate quite a different character of man one way or the other. The effort made as the Stoics direct, would mean no yielding to excitement, no poetry, no high-strung devotion, no rapture, no ecstasy, no ardour of love, no earnest rhetoric spoken or listened to, no mourning, no rejoicing other than the most conventional, to the persistent smothering of whatever is natural and really felt, no tear of pity freely let flow, no touch of noble anger responded to, no scudding before the breeze of indignation, -- all this, that reason may keep on the even tenour of her way undisturbed.

6. The fault in this picture is that it is not the picture of a man, but of a spirit. He who being man should try to realize it in himself, would fall short of human perfection. For though the sensitive appetite is distinguished from the will, and the two may clash and come in conflict, yet they are not two wholly independent powers, but the one man is both will and sensitive appetite, and he rarely operates according to one power without the other being brought into corresponding play. There is a similar concomitance of the operations of intellect and imagination. What attracts the sensitive appetite, commonly allures also the effective will, though on advertence the elective will may reject it. On the other hand, a strong affection and election of the will cannot be without the sensitive appetite being stirred, and that so strongly that the motion is notable in the body, -- in other words, is a passion. Passion is the natural and in a certain degree the inseparable adjunct of strong volition. To check one is to check the other. Not only is the passion repressed by repressing the volition, but the repression of the passion is also the repression of the volition. A man then who did his best to repress all movements of passion indiscriminately, would lay fetters on his will, lamentable and cruel and impolitic fetters, where his will was bent on any object good and honourable and well-judged.

7. Again, man's will is reached by two channels, from above downwards and from below upwards: it is reached through the reason and through the imagination and senses. By the latter channel it often receives evil impressions, undoubtedly, but not unfrequently by the former also. Reason may be inconsiderate, vain, haughty, mutinous, unduly sceptical. The abuse is no justification for closing either channel. Now the channel of the senses and of the imagination is the wider, and in many cases affords the better passage of the two. The will that is hardly reached by reason, is approached and won by a pathetic sight, a cry of enthusiasm, a threat that sends a tremor through the limbs. Rather I should say the affective will is approached in this way: for it remains with the elective will, on advertence and consultation with reason, to decide whether or not it shall be won to consent. But were it not for the channel of passion, this will could never have been approached at all even by reasons the most cogent. Rhetoric often succeeds, where mere dry logic would have been thrown away. God help vast numbers of the human race, if their wills were approachable only through their reasons! They would indeed be fixtures.

8. Another fact to notice is the liability of reason's gaze to become morbid and as it were inflamed by unremitting exercise. I do not here allude to hard study, but to overcurious scanning of the realities of this life, and the still greater realities and more momentous possibilities of the world to come. There is a sense of the surroundings being too much for us, an alarm and a giddiness, that comes of sober matter-of-fact thought over-much prolonged. Then it happens that one or more undeniable truths are laid hold of, and considered in strong relief and in isolation from the rest: the result is a distorted and partial view of truth as a whole, and therewith the mind is troubled. Here the kindlier passions, judiciously allowed to play, come in to soothe the wound and soreness of pure intellect, too keen in its workings for one who is not yet a pure spirit.

9. Moral good and evil are predicable only of human acts, in the technical sense of the term. (c. i., nn. 2-4, p. 1.) As the passions by definition (c. iv., s. i., n. 1, p. 41) are not human acts, they can never be morally evil of themselves. But they are an occasion of moral evil in this way. They often serve to wake up the slumbering Reason. To that end it is necessary that they should start up of themselves without the call of Reason. This would be no inconvenience, if the instant Reason awoke, and adverted to the tumult and stir of Passion, she could take command of it, and where she saw fit, quell it. But Reason has no such command, except in cases where she has acquired it by years of hard fighting. Passion once afoot holds on her course against the dictate of Reason. True, so long as it remains mere Passion, and Reason is not dragged away by it, no consent of the will given, no voluntary act elicited, still less carried into outward effect, -- so long as things remain thus, however Passion may rage, there is no moral evil done. But there is a great temptation, and in great temptation many men fall. The evil is the act of free will, but the pressure on the will is the pressure of Passion. But Passion happily is a young colt amenable to discipline. Where the assaults of Passion are resolutely and piously withstood, and the incentives thereto avoided -- unnatural and unnecessary incentives I mean -- Passion itself acquires a certain habit of obedience to Reason, which habit is moral virtue. Of that presently.

10. In a man of confirmed habits of moral virtue, Passion starts up indeed independently of Reason, but then Reason ordinarily finds little difficulty in regulating the Passion so aroused. In a certain high and extraordinary condition of human nature, not only has Reason entire mastery over Passion wherever she finds it astir, but Passion cannot stir in the first instance, without Reason calling upon it to do so. In this case the torpor of the will deprecated above (n. 7) is not to be feared, because Reason is so vigorous and so masterful as to be adequate to range everywhere and meet all emergencies without the goad of Passion. This state is called by divines the state of integrity. In it Adam was before he sinned. It was lost at the Fall, and has not been restored by the Redemption. It is not a thing in any way due to human nature: nothing truly natural to man was forfeited by Adam's sin. It is no point of holiness, no guerdon of victory, this state of integrity, but rather a being borne On angel's wings above the battle. But one who has no battle in his own breast against Passion, may yet suffer and bleed and die under exterior persecution: nay, he may, if he wills, let in Passion upon himself, to fear and grieve, when he need not. So did the Second Adam in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Readings. -- St. Thos., 1a, q. 81, art. 2, in corp.; id., 1a 2ae, q. 23, art. i, in corp.; ib., q. 23, art. 2, in corp.; Cicero, Tusc. Disp., iv., cc. 17-26; St. Aug., De Civitate Dei, ix., cc. 4, 5; Ar, Eth, III., v., 3, 4 ib., I., xiii., 15-17; St. Thos., 3a, q. 15, art. 4; id., 1a 2ae, q. 59, art. 5; Plato, Timaeus, 69, B, E: 70, A.

Section II. -- Of Desire.

1. Desires are either physical cravings, by moderns called appetites; or physical desires or tastes, called desires proper. The appetites have their beginning in bodily uneasiness. They are felt needs of something required for the animal maintenance of the individual or of the race. The objects of the several appetites are Meat and Drink, Warmth or Coolness, Exercise and Repose, Sleep, Sex. The object of mere appetite is marked by quantity only, not by quality. That is to say, the thing is sought for in the vague, in a certain amount sufficient to supply the want, but not this or that variety of the thing. The cry of a hungry man is, "Give me to eat," if very hungry, "Give me much:" but so far as he is under the mere dominion of appetite he does not crave any particular article of food, vegetable or animal: he wants quantity merely. So of thirst, so of all the appetites, where there is nothing else but appetite present.

2. But if a thirsty man cries for champagne, or a hungry man fancies a venison pasty, there is another element beyond appetite in that demand. On the matter of the physical craving there is stamped the form of a psychical desire. The psychical element prescribes a quality of the objects sought. The thirsty man thus prompted no longer wants drink but wine: the man mewed up within doors no longer calls for exercise, but for a horse or a bicycle. It is obvious that in man the appetites generally pass into the further shape of psychical desire. It is when the appetite is vehement, or the man is one who makes slight study of his animal wants, that pure appetite, sheer physical craving, is best shown. Darius flying before his conqueror is ready to drink at any source, muddy or clear, a drink is all that he wants: it is all that is wanted by St. Paul the first Hermit. But your modern lounger at the clubs, what variety of liquors are excogitated to please his palate!

3. Not all psychical desires are on the matter of appetite; they may be fixed on any good whatsoever of body or of mind. Many psychical desires are not passions at all, but reside exclusively in the superior part of the soul, in the will prompted by the understanding, and do not affect the body in any sensible way. Such for instance is the great desire of happiness. Those desires that are passions are prompted, not by the understanding, but by the imagination or fancy, imaging to itself some particular good, not good in general, for that the understanding contemplates. Fancy paints the picture; or if sense presents it, fancy appropriates and embellishes it: the sensitive appetite fastens upon the representation: the bodily organs sensibly respond; and there is the passion of psychical desire.

4. Physical cravings, or appetites, have limited objects: the objects of psychical desires may be unlimited. A thirsty man thirsts not for an ocean, but for drink quantum sufficit: give him that and the appetite is gone. But the miser covets all the money that be can get: the voluptuary ranges land and sea in search of a new pleasure: the philosopher ever longs for a higher knowledge: the saint is indefatigable in doing good. Whatever a man takes to be an end in itself, not simply a means, that he desires without end or measure. What he desires as a means, he desires under a limitation, so far forth as it makes for the end, so much and no more. As Aristotle says of the processes of art, "the end in view is the limit," peras to telos (cf. c. ii., s. iii., n. 3., p. 15). whatever is desired as an end in itself, is taken to be a part of happiness, or to represent happiness. Happiness and the object that gives happiness is the one thing that man desires for itself, and desires without end or measure. Unfortunately he is often mistaken in the choice of this object. He often takes for an end what is properly only a means. They "whose god is their belly," have made this mistake in regard of the gratification of appetite. It is not appetite proper that has led to this perversion, but psychical desire, or appetite inflamed by the artificial stimulus of imagination. For one who would be temperate, it is more important to control his imagination than to trouble about his appetite. Appetite exhausts itself, sometimes within. the bounds of what is good for the subject, sometimes beyond them, but still within some bounds; but there is no limit to the cravings bred of imagination.

5. By this canon a man may try himself to discover whether or not a favourite amusement is gaining too much upon him. An amusement is properly a means to the end, that a man may come away from it better fitted to do the serious work of his life. Pushed beyond a certain point, the amusement ceases to minister to this end. The wise man drops it at that point. But if one knows not where to stop: or if when stopped in spite of himself, he is restless till he begin again, and never willingly can forego any measure of the diversion that comes within his reach, the means in that case has passed into an end: he is enslaved to that amusement, inasmuch as he will do anything and everything for the sake of it. Thus some men serve pleasure. and other men money.

6. Hence is apparent the folly of supposing that crimes against property are preventible simply by placing it within the power of all members of the community easily to earn an honest livelihood, and therewith the satisfaction of all their natural needs. It is not merely to escape cold and hunger that men turn to burglary or fraudulent dealing: it is more for the gratification of a fancy, the satisfaction of an inordinate desire. Great crimes are not committed "to keep the wolf from the door," but because of the wolf in the heart, the overgrown psychical desire, which is bred in many a well-nourished, warmly clad, comfortably housed, highly educated citizen. There is a sin born of "fulness of bread."

Readings. -- St. Thos., 1a 2ae, q. 30, art. 3, in corp.; ib., q. 30, art. 4, in corp.; Ar., Eth., III., xi., 1-4: Ar., Pol., I., ix., 13; ib., III, vii., 11-13.

N.B. -- The division of desires into physical and psychical is first suggested by Plato, who (Rep. 558 D to 559 C) divides them as necessary and unnecessary. Unnecessary desires he treats as evil. What Plato calls a necessary, Aristotle calls a physical, and St. Thomas a natural desire. Unfortunately, Aristotle and St. Thomas had but one word for our English two, physical and natural. Desires that are not physical, not natural nor necessary to man in his animal capacity, may be highly natural and becoming to man as he is a reasonable being, or they may be highly unbecoming. These psychical desires, called by St. Thomas not natural, take in at once the noblest and the basest aspirations of humanity.

Section III. -- Of Delight.

1. Delight like desire may be either physical or psychical. All that has been said above of desire under this division applies also to delight, which is the realization of desire. This division does not altogether fall in with that into sensual delights and intellectual delights. A professional wine-taster could hardly be said to find intellectual delight in a bottle of good Champagne, real Veuve-Clicquot: yet certainly his is a psychical delight, no mere unsophisticated gratification of appetite. Sensual delights then are those delights which are founded on the gratification of appetite, whether simple -- in which case the delight is physical -- or studied and fancy-wrought appetite, the gratification of which is psychical delight. Intellectual delights on the other hand are those that come of the exercise of intellect, not unsupported by imagination, but where appetite enters not at all, or only as a remote adjunct, albeit the delight may turn upon some sight or sound, as of music, or of a fine range of hills. Or the object may be a thing of intellect, pure and removed from sense as far as an object of human contemplation can be, for instance, the first elements of matter, freewill, the immensity of God. The study of such objects yields a purer intellectual delight than that of the preceding. But this is a high ground and a keen upper air, where few can tread and breathe.

2. A man has more complacency in himself upon attaining to some intellectual delight than upon a sensual satisfaction: he is prouder to have solved a problem than to have enjoyed his dinner. Also, he would rather forego the capacity of sensual enjoy. ment than that of intellectual pleasure; rather lose his sense of taste than his science or his scholar- ship, if he has any notable amount of either. Again, put sensual delight in one scale, and in the other the intellectual delight of honour, no worthy specimen of a man will purchase the pleasure at the price of honour. The disgrace attaching to certain modes of enjoyment is sufficient to make men shun them, very pleasant though they be to sense. Again, sensual delight is a passing thing, waxing and waning: but intellectual delight is steady, grasped and held firmly as a whole. But sensual delight comes more welcome of the two in this that it removes a pre-existing uneasiness, as hunger, weariness, nervous prostration, thus doing a medicinal office: whereas no such office attaches in the essential nature of things to intellectual delight, as that does not presuppose any uneasiness; and though it may remove uneasiness, the removal is difficult, because the uneasiness itself is an obstacle to the intellectual effort that must be made to derive any intellectual delight. Sensual enjoyment is the cheaper physician, and ailing mortals mostly resort to that door.

3. "I will omit much usual declamation on the dignity and capacity of our nature: the superiority of the soul to the body, of the rational to the animal part of our constitution ; upon the worthiness, refinement, and delicacy of some satisfactions, or the meanness, grossness, and sensuality of others: because I hold that pleasures differ in nothing but in continuance and intensity." (Paley, Moral Philosophy, bk. i., c. vi.)

In opposition to the above it is here laid down that delights do not differ in continuance and intensity that is, in quantity, alone, but likewise in quality, that is, some are nobler, better, and more becoming a man than others, and therefore preferable on other grounds than those of mere continuance and intensity. I wish to show that the more pleasant pleasure is not always the better pleasure; that even the pleasure which is more durable, and thereby more pleasant in the long run, is not the better of the two simply as carrying the greater cumulus of pleasure. If this is shown, it will follow that pleasure is not identical with good; or that pleasure is not happiness, not the last end of man.

4. Delight comes of activity, not necessarily of change, except so far as activity itself involves change, as it always does in mortal man. Delight sits upon activity, as the bloom upon youth. Bloom is the natural sign of maturity; and the delight that we come to take in doing a thing shows that we are at least beginning to do it well: our activity is approaching perfection. In this sense it is said that delight perfects activity. As the activity, so will be the delight. But the activity will be as the power of which it is an exercise. Powers like in kind will supply like activities, and these again will yield delights alike in kind. There is no difference of quality in such delights, they differ in quantity alone. Thus taste and smell are two senses: the difference between them can hardly be called one of kind: therefore the delights of smelling and of tasting fall under one category. We may exchange so much small for an equal amount of taste it is a mere matter of quantity. But between sight and hearing on the one hand, and taste and smell and touch on the other, there is a wider difference, due to the fact that intellect allies itself more readily to the operation of the two former senses.

5. -- Widest of all differences is that between sense and intellect. To explain this difference in full belongs to psychology. Enough to say here that the object of sense is always particular, bound up in circumstances of present time and place, as this horse: while the object of intellect is universal, as horse simply. The human intellect never works without the concurrence either of sense or of imagination, which is as it were sense at second hand. As pure intellectual operation is never found in man, so neither is pure intellectual delight, like that of an angel. Still, as even in man sense and intellect are two powers differing in kind, so must their operations differ in kind, and the delights consequent upon those operations. Therefore, unless Paley would have been willing to allow that the rational and animal parts of our nature differ only as more and less -- which is tantamount to avowing that man is but a magnified brute -- he ought not to have penned his celebrated utterance, that pleasures differ only in continuance and intensity: be should have admitted that they differ likewise in kind; or in other words, that pleasures differ in quality as well as in quantity. The goodness of a pleasure, then, is not the mere amount of it. To repeat St. Augustine's reflection on the drunken Milanese: "It makes a difference what source a man draws his delight from." [Interest unde quis gaudeat. (S. Aug., Confess., vi., 6.)] As in man reason is nobler than sense, preferable, and a better good to its possessor -- for reason it is that makes him man and raises him above the brute -- so the use of the reason and the delight that comes thereof is nobler, preferable, and a better good to him than the pleasure that is of the mere operation of his animal nature. A little of the nobler delight outweighs a vast volume of the baser: not that the nobler is the pleasanter, but because it is the nobler. Nor can it be pretended that the nobler prevails as being the more durable, and thereby likely to prove the pleasanter in the long run. The nobler is better at the time and in itself, because it is the more human delight and characteristic of the higher species. I have but to add that what is better in itself is not better under all circumstances. The best life of man can only be lived at intervals. The lower operations and the delights that go with them have a medicinal power to restore the vigour that has become enfeebled by a lengthened exercise of the higher faculties. At those "dead points food and fiddling are better than philosophy.

6. This medicinal or restorative virtue of delight is a fact to bear in mind in debating the question how far it is right to act for the pleasure that the action gives. It is certainly wrong to act for mere animal gratification. Such gratification is a stimulus to us to do that which makes for the well-being of our nature: to fling away all intention of any good other than the delight of the action, is to mistake the incentive for the end proposed. But this is a doctrine easily misunderstood. An example may save it from being construed too rigidly. Suppose a man has a vinery, and being fond of fruit he goes there occasionally, and eats, not for hunger, but as he says, because he likes grapes. He seems to act for mere pleasure: yet who shall be stern enough to condemn him, so that he exceed not in quantity? If he returns from the vinery in a more amiable and charitable mood, more satisfied with Providence, more apt to converse with men and do his work in the commonwealth, who can deny that in acting in view of these ends, at least implicitly, he has taken lawful means to a proper purpose? He has not been fed, but recreated: be has not taken nourishment, but medicine, preventive or remedial, to a mind diseased. It is no doubt a sweet and agreeable medicine: this very agreeableness makes its medical virtue. It is a sweet antidote to the bitterness of life. But though a man may live by medicine, he does not live for it. So no man by rights lives for pleasure. The pleasure that a man finds in his work encourages him to go on with it. The pleasure that a man finds by turning aside to what is not work, picks him up, rests and renovates him, that he may go forth as from a wayside inn, or diverticulum, refreshed to resume the road of labour. Hence we gather the solution of the question as to the lawfulness of acting for pleasure. If a man does a thing because it is pleasant, and takes the pleasure as an incentive to carry on his labour, or as a remedy to enable him to resume it, he acts for pleasure rightly. For this it is not necessary that he should expressly think of the pleasure as being helpful to labour: it is enough that he accepts the subordination of pleasure to work as nature has ordained it; and this ordinance he does accept, if he puts forth no positive volition the other way, whether expressly, as none but a wrong-headed theologian is likely to do, or virtually, by taking his pleasure with such greediness that the motion of his will is all spent therein as in its last end and terminus, so that the pleasure ceases to be referable to aught beyond itself, a case of much easier occurrence. Or lastly, the natural subordination of pleasure to work may be set aside, defeated, and rendered impossible by the whole tenour of an individual's life, if he be one of those giddy butterflies who flit from pleasure to pleasure and do no work at all. Till late in the morning he sleeps, then breakfasts, then he shoots, lunches, rides, bathes, dines, listens to music, smokes, and reads fiction till late at night, then sleeps again; and this, or the like of this is his day, some three hundred days at least in the year, This is not mere acting for pleasure, it is living for pleasure, or acting for pleasure so continuously as to leave no scope for any further end of life. It may be hard to indicate the precise hour in which this man's pleasure-seeking passes into sin still this is clear, his life is not innocent. Clear him of gluttony and lust, there remains upon him the sin of sloth and of a wasted existence.

7. Even the very highest of delights, the delight of contemplation, is not the highest of goods, but a concomitant of the highest good. The highest good is the final object of the will: but the object of the will is not the will's own act: we do not will willing, as neither do we understand understanding -- not at least without a reflex effort. What we will in contemplating is, not to be delighted, but to see. This is the subjective end and happiness of man, to see, to contemplate. Delight is not anything objective: neither is it the subjective last end of humanity. In no sense then is delight, or pleasure, the highest good.

Readings. -- Ar., Eth., X., iv., 8; ib., X., iii., 8-13, ib., X., v., 1-5; Plato, Gorgias, pp. 494, 495; Mill, Utilitarianism, 2nd. edit., pp. 11-16; St. Thos., 1a 2ae q. 31, art. 5; id., Contra Gentiles, iii., 26, nn. 8, 10, 11, 12.

Section IV. -- Of Anger.

1. Anger is a compound passion, made up of displeasure, desire, and hope: displeasure at a slight received, desire of revenge and satisfaction and hope of getting the same, the getting of it being a matter of some difficulty and calling for some exertion, for we are not angry with one who lies wholly in our power, or whom we despise. Anger then is conversant at once with the good of vengeance and with the evil of a slight received: the good being somewhat difficult to compass, and the evil not altogether easy to wipe out. (Cf. s. i., n. 4, p. 43.)

2. Anger is defined: A desire of open vengeance for an open slight, attended with displeasure at the same, the slight being put upon self, or upon some dear one, unbefittingly. The vengeance that the angry man craves is a vengeance that all shall see. "No, ye unnatural hags," cries Lear in his fury, "I will do such things, -- what they shall be yet I know not, but they shall be the terror of the earth." When we are angry, we talk of "making an example" of the offender. The idea is that, as all the world has seen us slighted and set at naught, so all the world, witnessing the punishment of the offending party, may take to heart the lesson which we are enforcing upon him, namely, that we are men of might and importance whom none should despise. Whoever is angry, is angry at being despised, flouted to his face and set at naught, either in his own person, or in the person of one whom he venerates and loves, or in some cause that lies near to his heart. Anger is essentially a craving for vengeance on account of a wrong done. If then we have suffered, but think we deserve to suffer, we are not angry. If we have suffered wrong, but the wrong seems to have been done in ignorance, or in the heat of passion, we are not angry, or we are not so very angry. "If he had known what he was about," we say, or, if he had been in his right mind, he could not have brought himself to treat me so." But when one has done us cool and deliberate wrong, then we are angry, because the slight is most considerable. There is an appearance of our claims to considerations having been weighed, and found wanting. We call it, "a cool piece of impertinence," "spiteful malevolence," and the like. Any other motive to which the wrong is traceable on the part of the wrong-doer, lessens our anger against him: but the motive of contempt, and that alone, if we seem to discover it in him, invariably increases it. To this all other points are reducible that move our anger, as forgetfulness, rudely delivered tidings of misfortune, a face of mirth looking on at our distress, or getting in the way and thwarting our purpose.

3. Anger differs from hatred. Hatred is a chronic affection, anger an acute one. Hatred wishes evil to a man as it is evil, anger as it is just. Anger wishes evil to fall on its object in the sight of all men, and with the full consciousness of the sufferer: hatred is satisfied with even a secret mischief, and, so that the evil be a grievous one, does not much mind whether the sufferer be conscious of it or no. Thus an angry man may wish to see him who has offended brought to public confession and shame: but a hater is well content to see his enemy spending his fortune foolishly, or dead drunk in a ditch on a lonely wayside. The man in anger feels grief and annoyance, not so the hater. At a certain point of suffering anger stops, and is appeased when full satisfaction seems to have been made: but an enemy is implacable and insatiate in his desire of your harm. St. Augustine in his Rule to his brethren says: For quarrels, either have them not, or end them with all speed, lest anger grow to hatred, and of a mote make a beam."

4. Anger, like vengeance, is then only a safe course to enter on, when it proceeds not upon personal but upon public grounds. And even by this maxim many deceive themselves.

Readings. -- Ar., Rhet., ii., 2; ib., 4, ad fin.; St. Thos., 1a 2ae, q. 46, art. 2, in corp.; ib., q. 46, art. 3, in corp.; ib., q. 46, art. 6 ; ib., q. 47, art. 2.

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