motives to study and mental advancement. In the fight and struggle of party contests the pleasure of victory enters in full flavor; and in the competitions at school the same motive is at work.
The social problem of restraining individuals in their selfish grasping of good things—the mere agreeables and exemptions of the senses—is rendered still more intractable by the craving for the smack of malevolent gratification. Total repression has been found impossible; and ingenuity has devised a number of outlets that are more or less compatible with the sacredness of mutual rights.
One chief outlet for the malevolent impulses is the avenging of wrong, whether private or public. A convicted wrong-doer is punished by the law, and the indignation roused by the crime turns to gratification at the punishment. In the theory of penal retribution some allowance is claimed for the vindictive satisfaction of the public. To think only of the prevention of crime, and the reformation of criminals, and suppressing all resentful feeling, is a severe and ascetic view, beyond human nature as at present constituted. The privacy of the punishments of criminals, in our modern system, is intended to keep the indulgence within bounds.
A wide ideal scope is given to our resentful pleasures in history and in romance; we are gratified by the retribution inflicted upon the authors of wrong. Narratives of evil-doers and of their punishment are level to the meanest capacity; this is the sort of history that suits the imagination even of children.
The highest refinement of the malevolent gratification I take to be the creation called the ludicrous and the comic. There is a laugh of vindictiveness, hatred, and derision, which carries the sentiment as far as it can be carried without blows. But there is also the laugh expressed by playfulness and humor, in which the malignant feeling seems almost on the point of disappearing in favor of the amicable sentiment. It is of some importance to understand that in play, fun, and humor, there is a delicate counterpoise of opposing sentiments, an attempt to make the most of both worlds—love and anger. The great masterpieces of humor in literature, the amenities of every-day society, the innocent joyousness of laughter—all attest the success of the hazardous combination. Nothing could better show the intensity of the primitive charm of malevolence than the unction that survives after it is attenuated to the condition of innocent mirthfulness. When the real exercise of the destructive propensity is not to be had, creatures endowed with emotions still relish the fictitious forms. This is seen remarkably in the amicable "play" of puppies and kittens. Not being endowed with much compass of the caressing acts, they show their love by snarling and sham biting; in which, through their fortunate self-restraint, they seem to enjoy a double pleasure. In the play of children there is the same employment of the forms of destructive malevolence, and, so long as it is happily balanced, the effect is highly piquant. By