Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/323

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EDUCATION AS A SCIENCE.

bation and approbation combined, is, as I contend, the principal generating source of the ordinary moral sentiments of mankind, and the inspiration of exceptional virtues.

5. The Anti-social and Malign Emotions.—The emotions of Anger, Hatred, Antipathy, Rivalry, Contumely, have reference to other beings, no less than Love or Affection, but in an opposite way. In spite of the painful incidents in their manifestation—the offense in the first instance, and the dangers of reprisal—they are a source of immediate pleasure, often not inferior, and sometimes superior, in amount to the pleasures of amity and gregarious coöperation. In numerous instances people are willing to forego social and sympathetic delights to indulge in the pleasures of malignity.

In the work of discipline the present class of emotions occasions much solicitude. They can in certain ways be turned to good account; but, for the larger part, the business of the educator and the moralist is to counterwork them as being fraught with unalloyed evil.

Being a fitful or explosive passion, anger should, as far as possible, be checked or controlled in the young; but there are no adequate means, short of the very highest influence of the parent or teacher. The restraint induced by the presence of a dread superior at the time does not sink deep enough to make a habit; opportunities are sought and found to vent the passion with safety. The cultivation of the sympathies and affections is what alone copes with angry passion, both as a disturber of equanimity and as the prompter of wrong. The obverse of ill-temper is the disposition that thinks less of harm done to self and more of harm done to other people; and, if we can do anything to foster this disposition, we reduce the sphere of malignant passion. The collateral incentives to suppress angry passion include, besides the universal remedy of disaprobation, an appeal to the sense of personal dignity and to the baneful consequences of passionate outbursts.

The worst form of malignant feeling is cold and deliberate delight in cruelty; all too frequent, especially in the young. The torturing of animals, of weak and defenseless human beings, is the spontaneous outflow of the perennial fountain of malevolence. This has to be checked, if need be, at the expense of considerable severity. The inflictions practised on those that are able to recriminate, generally find their own remedy; and the discipline of consequences is as effectual as any. By having to fight our equals, we are taught to regulate our wrathful and cruel propensities.

The intense pleasure of victory contains the sweetness of malevolence, heightened by some other ingredients. The prostration and destruction of an enemy or a rival is, no doubt, the primary situation where malevolent impulses had their rise; and it continues to be, perhaps, the very strongest stimulant of the human energies. Notwithstanding its several drawbacks, we are obliged to give it a place among