**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

On Envy And Hatred
by [?]

Sec. I. Outwardly there seems no difference between hatred and envy, but they seem identical. For generally speaking, as vice has many hooks, and is swayed hither and thither by the passions that hang on it, there are many points of contact and entanglement between them, for as in the case of illnesses there is a sympathy between the various passions. Thus the prosperous man is equally a source of pain to hate and envy. And so we think benevolence the opposite of both these passions, being as it is a wish for our neighbour’s good, and we think hate and envy identical, for the desire of both is the very opposite of benevolence. But since their similarities are not so great as their dissimilarities, let us investigate and trace out these two passions from their origin.

Sec. II. Hatred then is generated by the fancy that the person hated is either bad generally or bad to oneself. For those who think they are wronged naturally hate those who they think wrong them, and dislike and are on their guard against those who are injurious or bad to others;[1] but people envy merely those they think prosperous. So envy seems illimitable, being, like ophthalmia, troubled at everything bright, whereas hatred is limited, since it settles only on what seems hostile.

Sec. III. In the second place people feel hatred even against the brutes; for some hate cats and beetles and toads and serpents. Thus Germanicus could not bear the crowing or sight of a cock, and the Persian magicians kill their mice, not only hating them themselves but thinking them hateful to their god, and the Arabians and Ethiopians abominate them as much. Whereas we envy only human beings.

Sec. IV. Indeed among the brutes it is not likely that there should be any envy, for they have no conception of prosperity or adversity, nor have they any idea of reputation or want of reputation, which are the things that mainly excite envy; but they hate one another, and are hostile to one another, and fight with one another to the death, as eagles and dragons, crows and owls, titmice and finches, insomuch that they say that even the blood of these creatures will not mix, and if you try to mix it it will immediately separate again. It is likely also that there is strong hatred between the cock and the lion, and the pig and the elephant, owing to fear. For what people fear they naturally hate. We see also from this that envy differs from hatred, for the animals are capable of the one, but not of the other.

Sec. V. Moreover envy against anyone is never just, for no one wrongs another by his prosperity, though that is what he is envied for; but many are hated with justice, for we even think others[2] worthy of hatred, if they do not flee from such, and are not disgusted and vexed at them. A great indication of this is that some people admit they hate many, but declare they envy nobody. Indeed hatred of evil is reckoned among praiseworthy things; and when some were praising Charillus, the nephew of Lycurgus and king of Sparta, for his mildness and gentleness, his colleague said, “How can Charillus be good, who is not even harsh to the bad?” And so the poet described the bodily defects of Thersites at much length, whereas he expressed his vile moral character most shortly and by one remark, “He was most hateful both to Achilles and Odysseus.”[3] For to be hated by the most excellent is the height of worthlessness. But people deny that they are envious, and, if they are charged with being so, they put forward ten thousand pleas, saying they are angry with the man or fear him or hate him, suggesting any other passion than envy, and concealing it as the only disorder of the soul which is abominable.