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pated, natural, but maintain that they were given by

1 Latin, vitium. " Vice " is here too strong a word, and
"fault" too weak ; yet I can find no English word that expresses
the mean between the two.



On the Passions. 223

Nature with a view to their usefulness. They reason
in this wise. They first say a great deal in praise
of anger. They call it the whetstone of courage,
and maintain that it will make the assaults on the
enemy and on the bad citizen more energetic ; that
there is no weight in the paltry reasoning, "It is
right that this battle should be fought ; it is fitting
to contend for the laws, for liberty, for the father-
land ; " that these things have no force unless cour-
age be inflamed by anger. Nor do they confine
themselves to soldiers alone. They think that no
very rigid commands can be given without some
bitterness of anger. Finally, they do not approve
of an orator's conducting a defence, much less of his
making an accusation, without the spur of anger,
which, if not real, should, as they think, be coun-
terfeited by word and gesture, so that the manner
of the orator may kindle the hearer's anger. They
deny that there is any man who knows not how to be
angry, and what we term " lenity," l they call by the
bad name of " sluggishness." 2 Nor do they content
themselves with praising this desire (for anger, as I
just now defined it, is the desire of revenge) ; but
they say that the entire class of desires or appeten-
cies was given by Nature with a view to the highest
usefulness ; for no one can do well what he does
not want to do. Themistocles walked the street 3
by night because he could not put himself to sleep,

1 Lenitas. 2 Lenttivdo.

8 Latin, ambulabat in publico.



224 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

and to those who asked why, he answered that he
was roused from sleep by the trophies of Miltiades.
Who has not heard of the vigils of Demosthenes,
who said that it pained him whenever in his work
before daylight any artisan got the start of him ?
Finally, the leading men in philosophy itself could
never have made such progress in their studies
without burning desire. We are told that Pytha-
goras, Democritus, Plato traversed the ends of the
earth, thinking it incumbent on them to go wherever
there was anything to be learned. Can we imagine
that this could have been done without extremely
ardent desire ?

20. Even grief, which, as I said, should be shunned
as a foul and savage beast, they regard as appointed
by Nature not without great usefulness, that men in
their wrong-doing might feel pain in being visited
with chastisement, reproach, ignominy; for impu-
nity in evil seems granted to'those who bear igno-
miny and infamy without pain. To be thus stung
by their fellow-men is of more efficacy than con-
science. Hence that scene drawn from life in the
play of Afranius, when the profligate son exclaims,

" Ah wretched me, in grief and suffering sore ! "
and the stern father says,

" If he but grieve, I care not why he grieves."

They say that the other forms of grief have their
utility, that pity leads men to give needed help,
and to relieve the calamities of the unworthy ; that



On the Passions. 225

even emulation and detraction are not useless, when
one -sees either that he has not attained what
another has, or that another has attained what he
himself has ; and that were fear taken away, life
would be bereft of the circumspection which is
most manifest in those who fear the laws, the mag-
istrates, poverty, ignominy, death, pain. They yet,
in treating of grief and fear, acknowledge that they
ought to be cut close, 1 but say that they cannot be
and need not be wholly rooted out ; 2 and in general
they regard moderation in everything as preferable.
Do you think it necessary for me to say anything
about their treatment of these subjects ?

A. I do. I therefore am awaiting what you have
to say upon them.

21. M. I shall perhaps find something to the
point ; but I want first to remind you how modest
the Academics are ; for what they say meets the
case in hand. The Stoics answer the Peripatetics.
So far as I care they may fight it out ; for all that I
need to ask is, What seems most probable ? Far-
ther than this the human mind cannot go. I agree
with Zeno in his definition of perturbation, which
he describes as a commotion of mind averse from
reason, contrary to nature, or, more comprehensively,
as a too vehement desire, that being understood as
too vehement which is remote from the even course

1 Latin, resccanda.

2 Latin, evelli. This and resecanda are terms borrowed from
horticulture.

15



226 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

of Nature. What can be said against these defini-
tions ? Such utterances come from men who dis-
cuss the subject wisely and acutely. But " ardor of
souls," "whetstones of the virtues," and the like,
proceed from rhetorical display. Now cannot a
brave man be brave unless he begins to be angry ?
This may indeed be said of gladiators. Yet in them
we sometimes see unruffled firmness. They con-
verse, walk together, make complaints and demands,
in such a way as to seem peaceably disposed rather
than angry. But among them there may indeed
sometimes be one of the disposition of Pacideianus l
as personated by Lucilius :

" I '11 kill and conquer him as sure as fate.
I may indeed be wounded at the outset ;
But in his lungs and heart my sword shall rest.
I hate the man, I fight inflamed with anger,
And hardly hold myself from rushing on him
Till each is duly armed for the encounter."

22. But without this gladiatorial anger we see
Homer's Ajax moving on very cheerfully when he
is going to fight with Hector. When he took his
arms, his advance toward the place of conflict gave
joy to the allies, but struck the enemies with terror,
so that Hector himself, according to Homer, trem-
bled all over, and was sorry that he had given the
challenge. 2 They calmly and quietly conversed be-

1 A celebrated gladiator in the time of the Gracchi.

2 This is an over-statement. The words in the Iliad denote
the quick throbbing of the heart, but not necessarily terror, still
less, terror verging upon cowardice.



On the Passions. 227

fore fighting, and in the fight itself they did nothing
angrily or furiously. Nor do I think that the Tor-
quatus 1 who first received this surname was angry
when he took the chain from the Gaul, or that
Marcellus was brave at Clastidium 2 because he was
angry. Of Africanus, better known to us as of more
recent fame, I can even swear that he was not in-
flamed with anger when in battle he protected Marcus
Allienus the Pelignian with his shield, and plunged
his sword into the enemy's bosom. 3 As to Lucius
Brutus I might perhaps hesitate to say whether, on
account of his unbounded hatred of the tyrant, he
did not rush somewhat impetuously upon Aruns ; 4
for I see that they killed each other in close con-
flict, thrust for thrust. But why do you introduce
anger in this connection? Has not courage its
moving force, unless it begins to be mad ? What ?
Do you suppose that Hercules, whom the very cour-
age which you identify with anger raised to heaven,
was angry when he fought with the Erymanthian
boar or the Nemaean lion ? Or was Theseus angry
when he took the Marathonian bull by the horns ? 5

1 Titus Manlius accepted the challenge of a Gaul to single
combat, killed him, and took from his neck a chain or necklace
(torquis), whence the name Torquatus.

2 Where he slew Viridomarus, the king of the Gauls.

3 This transaction is nowhere else referred to in any book now
extant.

* The son of Tarquinius Superbus.

5 The story is that Theseus went to Marathon to put a stop
to the frightful ravages of a previously invincible bull, which



228 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

Take heed that courage have in your thought the
least possible connection with rage, inasmuch as
anger is of no weight; nor is that to be deemed
courage, which lacks reason.

23. Human fortunes are to be despised ; death is
to be looked upon as of no account ; pain and labor
are to be regarded as endurable. When these prin-
ciples are established in opinion and feeling, then
there exists a truly robust and firm courage, unless
it be suspected that whatever is done ardently,
eagerly, spiritedly is done under the impulse of
anger. The chief priest Scipio, who reaffirmed the
maxim of the Stoics that the wise man is never a
private citizen, does not seem to me to have been
angry with Tiberius Gracchus, when he left the
consul faint-hearted, and though a private man, as
if he were the consul ordered those who desired the
safety of the State to follow him. I know not
what courageous service I myself may have ren-
dered in the commonwealth ; if any, it has certainly
not been in anger. Is there anything more like
insanity than anger, which Ennius rightly called
the beginning of insanity ? What symptom of a
sound mind is there in the complexion, voice, eyes,
breath, lack of self-command in word and deed, of
him who is angry? What is more unseemly than
Homer's Achilles and Agamemnon in their quarrel ?
Indeed, anger led Ajax on to madness and death.

he took by the horns, carried alive to Athens, and sacrificed to
Apollo.



On the Passions. 229

Courage then does not require the aid of anger ; it
is of itself sufficiently endowed, prepared, armed.
If anger be requisite to courage, in like manner we
may say that drunkenness, nay, even insanity, helps
courage; for madmen and drunkards are wont to
do many things with excessive vehemence. Ajax,
always brave, is most brave when he is mad.

" His greatest feat was when the Greeks gave way,
And he, a madman, turned the tide of battle." *

24. May we say therefore that madness is ser-
viceable ? Consider the definitions of courage, and
you will understand that it has no need of passion.
Courage is defined to be an affection of the mind
which in whatever is to be endured obeys the
highest law ; or, the maintenance of a firm decision
in enduring and repelling those things that seem
formidable ; or, the science of bearing or altogether
ignoring formidable and adverse things, with the
maintenance of a firm decision with regard to them ;
or, more briefly, in the words of Chrysippus ; for
these definitions are all from Sphaerus, 2 whom the
Stoics regard as peculiarly skilled in definition, and
they are all nearly alike, expressing the common
sentiment with greater or less accuracy. But how
does Chrysippus define courage ? It is, he says, the
science of bearing things, or an affection of the mind

1 From an unknown poet.

2 A Stoic philosopher, eminent for his subtilty in distinctions
and definitions, the author of a large number of books or treatises,
of which the names alone have come down to us.



230 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations,

fearlessly obedient to the highest law in suffering
and enduring. Although we may inveigh against
these men, as Carneades used to do, I apprehend
that they may be the only philosophers ; 1 for which
of these definitions does not develop the obscure
and involved notion which we all have of courage ?
When this is developed, who is there that can de-
mand anything more for the warrior, or the com-
mander, or the orator, or can imagine that either
cannot do anything bravely unless he be enraged ?
What ? Do not the Stoics, who say that all who are
unwise are insane, include the angry among the un-
wise ? Exclude perturbations of mind, most of all,
irascibility, and their language will seem absurd.
But what they say in their treatment of the subject
is this, that the unwise are insane in the sense
in which every cesspool smells badly, not all the
time, stir it, and you have the smell. So the
irascible man is not always angry, provoke him,
and you will see him in a rage. What ? How
does this warlike irascibility show itself with wife
-and children, when it has returned home ? Is there
anything which a disturbed mind can do better
than a self-collected mind ? Or can any one be
angry without disturbance of mind ? Our people,
therefore, since all faults belong to the department

1 Quoad hoc. Cicero is evidently dissatisfied with all types
of ethical philosophy except that of the Stoics. But he by no
means intends to deny the name of philosopher to those of other
schools.



On the Passions. 231

of morals, 1 because there was nothing more offen-
sive than irascibility, were right in reserving the
name of " morose " 2 for the irascible.

25. It is by no means becoming for an orator to
be angry ; it is not unbecoming for him to simulate
anger. Do I seem to you to be angry when in
pleading a cause I speak very earnestly and vehe-
mently ? What ? When I write out my orations,
after the affairs at issue are finished and past, do I
write in anger ? Do you think that when Aesopus
on the stage exclaims, " Who saw this ? bind
him," 3 he is angry, or that Attius was angry
when he wrote the play ? These emotions are
acted well, and indeed better by an orator, if he
be indeed an orator, than by any stage-player ; but
they are acted deliberately and with a quiet mind.
Then what wantonness it is to praise inordinate
desire ! You cite for me Themistocles and Demos-
thenes ; you add Pythagoras, Democritus, Plato.
What ? Do you call their studies inordinate desire ?
Studies of the best things, such as you bring for-
ward, ought to be calm and tranquil. Then again, to
what philosophers does it belong to commend grief,
the one thing of all most detestable ? Afranius
indeed very fitly wrote,

" If he but grieve, I care not why he grieves ; "

but this was said of an abandoned and profligate
youth, while our inquiry is concerning a firm and

1 Mores. 2 Morosus. 3 In the Atreus of Attius.



232 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

wise man. Anger itself may be permitted to a centu-
rion, or a standard-bearer, or others whom I need not
mention, lest I tell the secrets of the rhetoricians ; J
for it is of service for one who has not reason at
command to avail himself of emotion. My inquiry,
however, as I often repeat, is about the wise man.

26. But it is said that emulation, detraction, pity
are of service. Yet why do you pity rather than
give help if you can ? For we ought not ourselves
to incur grief on account of others, but, if we can,
to relieve others of grief. Then what use is there
in detraction, or in emulation of that vicious type
which resembles jealous rivalry, since it is the part
of such emulation for one to be vexed at another's
good which he has not, of detraction, to be vexed
at another's good because it is his ? How can it
be worthy of approval for you to grieve if you want
anything instead of trying to obtain it ? And it is
the extreme of folly 2 to desire to be the sole posses-
sor of any good. But who can rightly praise the
moderate possession of evils ? For can one in
whom there is lust or cupidity be otherwise than
lustful and avaricious ? Is not he in whom there is
anger irascible ? Is not he in whom there is anx-
iety anxious ? Is not he in whom there is fear
timid ? Do we then think that the wise man is

1 Who teach the ways of exciting passion in classes of people
weak enough to be made angry by rhetorical art.

2 Latin, dementia, which, meaning "loss of mind," may de-
note either madness or folly.



On the Passions. 233

lustful, and irascible, and anxious, and timid ? The
excellence of the wise man admits of copious and
broad treatment ; but wishing to be as brief as pos-
sible, I will only say that wisdom is the science of
things divine and human, and the knowledge of the
cause of everything. Hence it is that the wise man
imitates things divine, and counts all things human
as inferior to virtue. Now do you profess to think
that this condition of mind is liable to perturbation,
as the sea is to gusts of wind ? What is there that
can disturb such gravity and firmness ? Anything
unprovided for and sudden ? What of this sort can
happen to one whom nothing that can happen to
man can take by surprise ? As to what is said
about the fitness of cutting off what is excessive
and leaving what is natural, what can be natural of
which there can be too much ? For all these things
grow from roots of errors that must be torn up and
pulled out, not lopped and pruned.

27. But as I suspect that you are not inquiring
about the wise man so much as about yourself
thinking that he is free from every perturbation,
and yourself desiring to be so let us see what are
the remedies which philosophy applies to the dis-
eases of the soul. There certainly is some curative
treatment ; for never was Nature so hostile and
inimical to the human race as to contrive so many
means of health for bodies, none for souls, for which
she has really done even better, inasmuch as such
helps as the body needs are furnished from without,



234 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations,

while those that the soul requires it contains. But
the greater and the more divine the excellence of
the soul, the more careful diligence does it need.
Therefore reason, well applied, discerns what is
best ; carelessly employed, is involved in many
errors. All that I shall now say must then be spe-
cially directed to you ; for while you feign l to be
inquiring about the wise man, you are really inquir-
ing about yourself. Now there are various cures for
the perturbations which I have explained ; for all
diseases are not relieved in the same way, one
mode of treatment must be applied to grief, another
to pity or to envy. It is optional, too, in our treat-
ment of the four classes of perturbations, whether
what is to be said shall apply to perturbation in
general, which is a spurning of reason or an excess
of desire, or whether it shall apply to each severally,
as to fear, lust, and the others, also whether the
aim shall be to show that the particular cause of
grief is one that ought not to be borne distressfully,
or entirely to remove grief for all causes whatsoever,
for instance, in case one were bearing poverty in
a sorrowful spirit, whether it be desirable to prove
that poverty is not an evil, or that man ought not
for any reason to suffer grief. Undoubtedly this
last is the better mode ; for should your reasoning
about poverty fail to carry conviction, you must
permit the man to grieve, while when grief is taken

1 In proposing for discussion the proposition, " The wise man
is not free from every disturbance of mind."



On the Passions. 235

away by such appropriate arguments as we em-
ployed yesterday, the evil of poverty is also in
some sort taken away.

28. But every perturbation of the kind under
discussion may be washed away l by this soothing
process for the mind, namely, by teaching that the
special object from which inordinate joy or desire
springs is not a good, nor that which causes either
fear or grief an evil. Nevertheless, the sure and
fitting cure is to teach that the perturbations them-
selves are in their very essence vicious, and have
about them nothing that is natural or necessary,
since we see grief itself allayed when we charge
persons in sorrow with the feebleness of an effemi-
nate mind, and when we praise the solidity and
firmness of those who bear the vicissitudes of hu-
man fortune unmoved. This, however, is wont to
be the case even with persons who regard these
things as evils, yet think that they ought to be
borne with equanimity. Thus one man regards
pleasure as a good, another, money ; yet the former
can be called away from intemperance, the latter,
from avarice. But the other mode of reasoning
and discoursing, which takes away at the same
time both the false opinion and the disease itself,
is indeed more serviceable, yet is rarely made avail-
ing, and does not admit of beiijg applied to man-

1 This figure is undoubtedly derived from the use of external
lotions in bodily disease, which sometimes not only relieve, but even
cure, yet are regarded as less efficacious than internal remedies.



236 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

kind at large. There are also some diseases which
that mode of treatment cannot in any wise relieve.
Thus, if one is grieved by the consciousness that
there is in him no virtue, no soul, no sense of duty,
no honor, he may indeed be distressed by real evils ;
but some other curative treatment must be applied
to him, and such treatment as may have the sanc-
tion of all philosophers, however far apart they may
be in other matters. All must indeed agree that
commotions of mind opposed to right reason are
vicious, so that, even if those things which cause
fear or grief are evil, or those which excite inor-
dinate desire or joy, good, yet the commotion itself
is vicious ; for we all desire that the man whom
we call magnanimous and brave should be firm,
calm, of massive character, superior to all human
vicissitudes. But one who either grieves, or fears,
or covets, or is elated by joy, cannot be of this char-
acter ; for the morbid affections that I have named
belong to those who regard the events of human
life as of higher importance than their own souls
have.

29. Therefore, as I have already stated, all the
philosophers have one method of cure, so that noth-
ing need be said as to the quality of that which
disturbs the mind, but only as to the disturbance
itself. Thus as regards inordinate desire, if the
only thing in view be its removal, it is not to be
asked whether the object be good or not, the
desire itself is to be taken away, so that whether



On the Passions. 237

the supreme good be the right, or pleasure, or the
two combined, or what are commonly called the
three kinds of good, 1 yet even if it be the desire for
virtue itself that is unduly strong, the same dissua-
sives are to be urged upon all. But human nature,
on close inspection, is found to contain every means
for calming the mind ; and that it may be more
easily placed in clear view, the condition and law
of life must be explained. Therefore it was not
without reason that when Euripides brought out
the play of Orestes, Socrates called for the repetition
of the first three verses :

" No doom by tragic muse or wrath divine
Is told or felt, so full of bitter woe,
That human patience cannot bear the load. " 2

The enumeration of those who have borne the like
is of service in persuading men that what has be-
fallen them can be and ought to be borne. But the
mode of calming grief was expounded in our yester-
day's discussion, as also in my book entitled Con-
solation, which I wrote in the midst of grief and
pain (for I was not then wise), and what Chrysippus
forbids, the employing of curative treatment for agi-
tations of the soul still recent, 8 I did, and applied

1 Virtue, bodily advantages, and external goods.

2 Cicero has slightly changed the sense of these verses, to serve
the purpose in hand. The following seems to me the meaning
of the original : "There is no story of suffering, nor heaven-
inflicted calamity, beyond what human nature may be compelled
to bear."

8 Latin, rewrites quasi tumores animi, literally, " fresh tumors



238 Cicero's Tusculan Disputations.

force to nature, that the greatness of the pain might
yield to the greatness of the cure.

30. Closely allied to grief, which has been suf-
ficiently discussed, is fear, on which a few things
need to be said. As grief appertains to present, so
does fear to future evil. Therefore some have said
that fear is a division under the head of grief, while
others have called it " trouble anticipated," 1 because
it is, so to speak, the leader of trouble that is going to
follow. For all the reasons, then, for which things
present are endured, things future are held in con-
tempt. With regard to both, equal heed must be
given that we do nothing grovelling, mean, soft, ef-
feminate, broken-spirited and abject. But although
we must speak of the irresolution, feebleness, light-
headedness of fear, it yet is of great service to de-
spise the very things which are the objects of fear.
Therefore, whether it happened by chance or was of
design, it was very much to our purpose that on the
first and second day we discussed the things that
are most feared, death and pain. If our conclu-
sions on these subjects are approved, we are freed in
great part from fear.

31. Thus far as to opinion about evils. Let us
now consider opinion about goods, that is, inordinate

[i. e. raw sores] of the mind, so to speak," a figure, by no means
inappropriate, and yet not easily transferred to another tongue.

1 Latin, praemolestiam, i. e. " pre-trouble," a word coined
by Cicero, used by no one else, untranslatable. Our colloquial


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