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5. Let fear be defined as a painful or troubled feeling caused by the impression of an imminent evil that causes destruction or pain; for men do not fear all evils, for instance, becoming unjust or slow-witted, but only such as involve great pain or destruction, and only if they appear to be not far off but near at hand and threatening, for men do not fear things that are very remote; all know that they have to die, but as death is not near at hand, they are indifferent. [2] If then this is fear, all things must be fearful that appear to have great power of destroying or inflicting injuries that tend to produce great pain. That is why even the signs of such misfortunes are fearful, for the fearful thing itself appears to be near at hand, and danger is the approach of anything fearful. [3] Such signs are the enmity and anger of those able to injure us in any way; for it is evident that they have the wish,1 so that they are not far from doing so. [4] And injustice possessed of power is fearful, for the unjust man is unjust through deliberate inclination.2
[5] And outraged virtue when it has power, for it is evident that it always desires satisfaction, whenever it is outraged, and now it has the power. [6] And fear felt by those able to injure us in any way, for such as these also must be ready to act. [7] And since most men are rather bad than good and the slaves of gain and cowardly in time of danger, being at the mercy of another is generally fearful, so that one who has committed a crime has reason to fear his accomplices as likely to denounce or leave him in the lurch. [8] And those who are able to ill-treat others are to be feared by those who can be so treated; for as a rule men do wrong whenever they can. Those who have been, or think they are being, wronged, are also to be feared, for they are ever on the look out for an opportunity. And those who have committed some wrong, when they have the power, since they are afraid of retaliation, [9] which was assumed to be something to be feared. And those who are our rivals for the same things, whenever it is impossible to share them, for men are always contending with such persons. [10] And those who are feared by those who are stronger than we are, for they would be better able to injure us, if they could injure those stronger than ourselves and those whom those who are stronger than ourselves are afraid of, for the same reason. [11] And those who have overthrown those who are stronger than us and those who attack those who are weaker, for they are either already to be feared, or will be, when they have grown stronger.

And among those whom we have wronged, or are our enemies or rivals,we should fear not the hot-tempered or
outspoken, but those who are mild, dissemblers, and thorough rascals; for it is uncertain whether they are on the point of acting, so that one never knows whether they are far from it.3 [12] All things that are to be feared are more so when, after an error has once been committed, it is impossible to repair it, either because it is absolutely impossible, or no longer in our power, but in that of our opponents; also when there is no possibility of help or it is not easy to obtain. In a word, all things are to be feared which, when they happen, or are on the point of happening, to others, excite compassion. These are, so to say, nearly all the most important things which are to be feared and which men fear. Let us now state the frame of mind which leads men to fear.

[13] If then fear is accompanied by the expectation that we are going to suffer some fatal misfortune, it is evident that none of those who think that they will suffer nothing at all is afraid either of those things which he does not think will happen to him, or of those from whom he does not expect them, or at a time when he does not think them likely to happen. It therefore needs be that those who think they are likely to suffer anything should be afraid, either of the persons at whose hands they expect it, or of certain things, and at certain times. [14] Those who either are, or seem to be, highly prosperous do not think they are likely to suffer anything;
wherefore they are insolent, contemptuous, and rash, and what makes them such is wealth, strength, a number of friends, power. It is the same with those who think that they have already suffered all possible ills and are coldly indifferent to the future, like those who are being beaten to death; for it is a necessary incentive to fear that there should remain some hope of being saved from the cause of their distress. A sign of this is that fear makes men deliberate, whereas no one deliberates about things that are hopeless. [15] So that whenever it is preferable that the audience should feel afraid, it is necessary to make them think they are likely to suffer, by reminding them that others greater than they have suffered, and showing that their equals are suffering or have suffered, and that at the hands of those from whom they did not expect it, in such a manner and at times when they did not think it likely.

[16] Now, since we have made clear what fear and fearful things are, and the frame of mind in each case which makes men fear, one can see from this what confidence is, what are the things that give it, and the frame of mind of those who possess it; for confidence is the contrary of fear and that which gives confidence of that which causes fear, so that the hope of what is salutary is accompanied by an impression that it is quite near at hand, while the things to be feared are either non-existent or far off. [17] Confidence is inspired by the remoteness of fearful things,
or by the nearness of things that justify it.4 If remedies are possible, if there are means of help, either great or numerous, or both; if we have neither committed nor suffered wrong if we have no rivals at all, or only such as are powerless, or, if they have power, are our friends, or have either done us good or have received it from us; if those whose interests are the same as ours are more numerous, or stronger, or both. [18] We feel confidence in the following states of mind: if we believe that we have often succeeded and have not suffered, or if we have often been in danger and escaped it; for men are unaffected by fear in two ways, either because they have never been tested or have means of help; thus, in dangers at sea, those who have never experienced a storm and those who have means of help as the result of experience have confidence as to the future. [19] We are also reassured, when a thing does not inspire fear in our equals, our inferiors, or those to whom we think ourselves superior; and we think ourselves superior to those whom we have conquered, either themselves or their superiors or equals. [20] And if we think we possess more or more considerable advantages, such as make their possessors formidable;
such are abundance of money, strength of body, friends, territory, military equipments, either all or the most important. And if we have never done wrong to anyone, or only to a few, or not to such as are to be feared; [21] and, generally, if it is well with us in regard to the gods, especially as to intimations from signs and oracles, and everything else of the kind; for anger inspires confidence, and it is the wrong that we suffer and not that which we inflict upon others that causes anger, and the gods are supposed to assist those who are wronged.5 [22] Lastly, we feel confidence when, at the beginning of any undertaking, we do not expect disaster either in the present or future, or hope for success. Such are the things that inspire fear or confidence.

1 By the definitions of anger and hatred.

2 And therefore, having the inclination to be unjust, if he has the power, he will be so.

3 Or simply, “near . . . far from us.”

4 τὰ σωτήρια or some other word instead of τὰ θαρραλέα would be expected, to avoid the tautology. The fact of remoteness inspires confidence, because we do not expect fearful things to happen; while salutary things inspire it if near at hand, because we expect them to happen.

5 It is assumed that the gods will be on our side if we have suffered wrong; suffering wrong rouses anger and at the same time inspires confidence, if our relations with the gods are such that we feel we can rely upon them for assistance.

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