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[4] although the quality is thought rather to err on the side of defect, since the gentle-tempered man is not prompt to seek redress for injuries, but rather inclined to forgive them). [5]

The defect, on the other hand, call it a sort of Lack of Spirit or what not, is blamed; since those who do not get angry at things at which it is right to be angry are considered foolish, and so are those who do not get angry in the right manner, at the a right time, and with the right people. [6] It is thought that they do not feel or resent an injury, and that if a man is never angry he will not stand up for him self; and it is considered servile to put up with an insult to oneself or suffer one's friends to be insulted. [7]

Excess also is possible in each of these ways, for one can be angry with the wrong people, for wrong things, or more violently or more quickly or longer than is right; but not all these excesses of temper are found in the same person. This would be impossible, since evil destroys even itself, and when present in its entirety becomes unbearable. [8] There are then first the Irascible, who get angry quickly and with the wrong people and for the wrong things and too violently, but whose anger is soon over. This last is the best point in their character, and it is due to the fact that they do not keep their anger in, but being quick-tempered display it openly by retaliating, and then have done with it. [9] The excessively quick-tempered are Passionate; they fly into a passion at everything and on all occasions: hence their name. [10] The Bitter-tempered on the other hand are implacable, and remain angry a long time, because they keep their wrath in; whereas when a man retaliates there is an end of the matter: the pain of resentment is replaced by the pleasure of obtaining redress, and so his anger ceases. But if they do not retaliate, men continue to labour under a sense of resentment—for as their anger is concealed no one else tries to placate them either, and it takes a long time to digest one's wrath within one. Bitterness is the most trouble some form of bad temper both to a man himself and to his nearest friends. [11] Those who lose their temper at the wrong things, and more and longer than they ought, and who refuse to be reconciled without obtaining redress or retaliating, we call Harsh-tempered. [12]

We consider the excess to be more opposed to Gentleness than the defect, because it occurs more frequently, human nature being more prone to seek redress than to forgive; and because the harsh-tempered are worse to live with than the unduly placable. [13]

But what was said above1 is also clear from what we are now saying; it is not easy to define in what manner and with whom and on what grounds and how long one ought to be angry, and up to what point one does right in so doing and where error begins. For he who transgresses the limit only a little is not held blameworthy, whether he errs on the side of excess or defect; in fact, we sometimes praise those deficient in anger and call them gentle-tempered,

1 2.9.7-9, a passage closely repeated here.

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