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and because this individual has done, or was on the point of doing, something against him or one of his friends; and lastly, anger is always accompanied by a certain pleasure, due to the hope of revenge to come. For it is pleasant to think that one will obtain what one aims at; now, no one aims at what is obviously impossible of attainment by him, and the angry man aims at what is possible for himself. Wherefore it has been well said of anger, that “ Far sweeter than dripping honey down the throat it spreads in men's hearts.1

” for it is accompanied by a certain pleasure, for this reason first,2 and also because men dwell upon the thought of revenge, and the vision that rises before us produces the same pleasure as one seen in dreams.

[3] Slighting is an actualization of opinion in regard to something which appears valueless; for things which are really bad or good, or tend to become so, we consider worthy of attention, but those which are of no importance or trifling3 we ignore. Now there are three kinds of slight: disdain, spitefulness, and insult. [4] For he who disdains, slights, since men disdain those things which they consider valueless and slight what is of no account. And the spiteful man appears to show disdain; for spitefulness consists in placing obstacles in the way of another's wishes, not in order that any advantage may accrue to him who spites, but to prevent any accruing to the other. Since then he does not act in this manner from self-interest, it is a slight;
for it is evident that he has no idea that the other is likely to hurt him, for in that case he would be afraid of him instead of slighting him; nor that he will be of any use to him worth speaking of, for in that case his thought would be how to become his friend.4

[5] Similarly, he who insults another also slights him; for insult5 consists in causing injury or annoyance whereby the sufferer is disgraced, not to obtain any other advantage for oneself besides the performance of the act, but for one's own pleasure; for retaliation is not insult, but punishment. [6] The cause of the pleasure felt by those who insult is the idea that, in ill-treating others, they are more fully showing superiority. That is why the young and the wealthy are given to insults; for they think that, in committing them, they are showing their superiority. Dishonor is characteristic of insult; and one who dishonors another slights him; for that which is worthless has no value, either as good or evil. Hence Achilles in his wrath exclaims: “ He has dishonored me, since he keeps the prize he has taken for himself,6

” and “ [has treated me] like a dishonored vagrant,7

” [7] as if being angry for these reasons. Now men think that they have a right to be highly esteemed by those who are inferior to them in birth, power, and virtue,

1 Hom. Il. 18.109 (cp. 1.11.9).

2 The thought of revenge in the future, as distinguished from dwelling upon it in the present.

3 Or, “those in which this tendency does not exist, or is trifling.”

4 Or, “how to make him his friend,” φίλος being for φίλον by attraction.

5 In Attic law ὕβρις (insulting, degrading treatment) was a more serious offence than αἰκία (bodily ill-treatment). It was the subject of a State criminal prosecution ( γραφή), αἰκία of a private action ( δίκη) for damages. The penalty was assessed in court, and might even be death. It had to be proved that the defendant struck the first blow (2.24.9). One of the best known instances is the action brought by Demosthenes against Midias for a personal outrage on himself, when choregus of his tribe and responsible for the equipment of a chorus for musical competitions at public festivals.

6 Hom. Il. 1.356.

7 Hom. Il. 9.648. μετανάστης, lit. “one who changes his home,” used as a term of reproach.

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