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I will do such things —
What they are, yet I know not, but they shall be
The terrors of the Earth!

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
King Lear, Act 2, sc. 4, l. 321ff (2.4.321) [Lear] (1606)
Added on 18-Sep-23 | Last updated 18-Sep-23
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As, when in tumults rise th’ ignoble crowd,
Mad are their motions, and their tongues are loud;
And stones and brands in rattling volleys fly,
And all the rustic arms that fury can supply.

[Ac veluti magno in populo cum saepe coorta est
seditio, saevitque animis ignobile volgus,
iamque faces et saxa volant — furor arma ministrat ….]

Virgil the Poet
Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 1, l. 148ff (1.148-150) (29-19 BC) [tr. Dryden (1697)]

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

As oft when a great people mutinie
Ignoble vulgar rage; stones, firebrands flye,
Furie finds arms.
[tr. Ogilby (1649)]

And as when a sedition has perchance arisen among a mighty multitude, and the minds of the ignoble vulgar rage; now firebrands, now stones fly; fury supplies them with arms.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

As when sedition oft has stirred
In some great town the vulgar herd,
And brands and stones already fly --
For rage has weapons always nigh ....
[tr. Conington (1866)]

As when
Sedition in a multitude has risen,
And the base mob is raging with fierce minds,
And stones and firebrands fly, and fury lends
Arms to the populace ...
[tr. Cranch (1872), l. 187ff]

Even as when oft in a throng of people strife hath risen, and the base multitude rage in their minds, and now brands and stones are flying; madness lends arms.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

And, like as mid a people great full often will arise
Huge riot, and all the low-born herd to utter anger flies,
And sticks and stones are in the air, and fury arms doth find ....
[tr. Morris (1900)]

As when in mighty multitudes bursts out
Sedition, and the wrathful rabble rave;
Rage finds them arms; stones, firebrands fly about ....
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 21, l. 181ff]

As when, with not unwonted tumult, roars
in some vast city a rebellious mob,
and base-born passions in its bosom burn,
till rocks and blazing torches fill the air
(rage never lacks for arms) ....
[tr. Williams (1910)]

And as, when oft-times in a great nation tumult has risen, the base rabble rage angrily, and now brands and stones fly, madness lending arms ....
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

Sometimes, in a great nation, there are riots
With the rabble out of hand, and firebrands fly
And cobblestones; whatever they lay their hands on
Is a weapon for their fury.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

Just as so often it happens, when a crowd collects, and violence
Brews up, and the mass mind boils nastily over, and the next thing
Firebrands and brickbats are flying (hysteria soon finds a missile) ....
[tr. Day-Lewis (1952)]

And just as, often, when a crowd or people
is rocked by a rebellion, and the rabble
rage in their minds, and firebrands and stones
fly fast -- for fury finds its weapons ....
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), l. 209ff]

When rioting breaks out in a great city,
And the rampaging rabble goes so far
That stones fly, and incendiary brands --
For anger can supply that kind of weapon ....
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981)]

As when disorder arises among the people of a great city and the common mob riuns riot, wild passion finds weapons for men's hands and torches and rocks start flying ....
[tr. West (1990)]

As often, when rebellion breaks out in a great nation,
and the common rabble rage with passion, and soon stones
and fiery torches fly (frenzy supplying weapons) ....
[tr. Kline (2002)]

Riots will often break out in the crowded assembly
When the rabble are roused. Torches and stones
Are soon flying -- Fury always finds weapons.
[tr. Lombardo (2005)]

Just as, all too often,
some huge crowd is seized by a vast uprising,
the rabble runs amok, all slaves to passion,
rocks, firebrands flying. Rage finds them arms.
[tr. Fagles (2006)]

Just as riots often fester in great crowds when the common mob goes mad; rocks and firebrands fly, the weapons rage supplies.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

Added on 12-Apr-23 | Last updated 21-Jun-23
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Anger is an inoculant. It gets your immune system working against bullshit. But anger can also make you sick, if you’re exposed to it for too long. That same caustic anger that can inspire you to action, to defend yourself, to make powerful and risky choices … can eat away at you. Consume your self, vulnerabilities, flesh, heart, future if you stay under the drip for too long. The anger itself can become your reason for living, and feeding it can be your only goal. In the end, you’ll feed yourself to it to keep the flame alive, along with everyone around you. Anger is selfish, like any flame. And so, like any flame, it must be shielded, contained, husbanded while it is useful and banked or extinguished when it is not. But flames don’t want to die, and they are crafty — an ember hidden here, a hot spot unexpectedly lurking over there. Sure, you can turn the feelings off, and I had done that before. But turning off the anger doesn’t lead to dealing with the problems that caused the anger.

Elizabeth Bear
Elizabeth Bear (b. 1971) American author [pseud. for Sarah Bear Elizabeth Wishnevsky]
Ancestral Night (2019)
Added on 12-Dec-22 | Last updated 12-Dec-22
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The first thing to do when you are upset is to notice that you are. You begin by mastering your emotions and determining not to go any further. With this superior sort of caution you can put a quick end to your anger.

[El primer paso del apasionarse es advertir que se apasiona, que es entrar con señorío del afecto, tanteando la necesidad hasta tal punto de enojo, y no más. Con esta superior refleja entre y salga en una ira.]

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], § 155 (1647) [tr. Maurer (1992)]

(Source (Spanish)). Alternate translation:

The first step towards getting into a passion is to announce that you are in a passion. By this means you begin the conflict with command over your temper, for one has to regulate one's passion to the exact point that is necessary and no further. This is the art of arts in falling into and getting out of a rage.
[tr. Jacobs (1892)]

Added on 11-Apr-22 | Last updated 11-Apr-22
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Anger is a passion, so it makes people feel alive and makes them feel they matter and are in charge of their lives. So people often need to renew their anger a long time after the cause of it has died, because it is a protection against helplessness and emptiness just like howling in the night. And it makes them feel less vulnerable for a little while.

Merle Shain (1935-1989) Canadian journalist and author
Hearts That We Broke Long Ago, ch. 5 (1983)
Added on 8-Apr-22 | Last updated 8-Apr-22
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But oh! ye gracious Powers above,
Wrath and revenge from men and gods remove,
Far, far too dear to every mortal breast,
Sweet to the soul, as honey to the taste;
Gathering like vapours of a noxious kind
From fiery blood, and darkening all the mind.

[Ὡς ἔρις ἔκ τε θεῶν ἔκ τ’ ἀνθρώπων ἀπόλοιτο
καὶ χόλος, ὅς τ’ ἐφέηκε πολύφρονά περ χαλεπῆναι,
ὅς τε πολὺ γλυκίων μέλιτος καταλειβομένοιο
ἀνδρῶν ἐν στήθεσσιν ἀέξεται ἠΰτε καπνός.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Iliad [Ἰλιάς], Book 18, l. 107ff (18.107) [Achilles] (c. 750 BC) [tr. Pope (1715-20)]

Original Greek. Alternate translations:

How then too soon can hastiest death supplant
My fate-curst life? Her instrument to my indignity
Being that black fiend Contention; whom would to God might die
To Gods and men; and Anger too, that kindles tyranny
In men most wise, being much more sweet than liquid honey is
To men of pow’r to satiate their watchful enmities;
[tr. Chapman (1611), l. 98ff]

May fierce contention from among the Gods
Perish, and from among the human race,
With wrath, which sets the wisest hearts on fire;
Sweeter than dropping honey to the taste,
But in the bosom of mankind, a smoke!
[tr. Cowper (1791), l. 134ff]

Would that therefore contention might be extinguished from gods and men; and anger, which is wont to impel even the very wisest to be harsh; and which, much sweeter than distilling honey, like smoke, rises in the breasts of men.
[tr. Buckley (1860)]

Accurs’d of Gods and men be hateful strife
And anger, which to violence provokes
E’en temp’rate souls: though sweeter be its taste
Than dropping honey, in the heart of man
Swelling, like smoke.
[tr. Derby (1864)]

May strife perish utterly among gods and men, and wrath that stirreth even a wise man to be vexed, wrath that far sweeter than trickling honey waxeth like smoke in the breasts of men.
[tr. Leaf/Lang/Myers (1891)]

Therefore, perish strife both from among gods and men, and anger, wherein even a righteous man will harden his heart -- which rises up in the soul of a man like smoke, and the taste thereof is sweeter than drops of honey.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

So may strife perish from among gods and men, and anger that setteth a man on to grow wroth, how wise soever he be, and that sweeter far than trickling honey waxeth like smoke in the breasts of men.
[tr. Murray (1924)]

Why, I wish that strife would vanish away from among gods and mortals, and gall, which makes a man grow angry for all his great mind, that gall of anger that swarms like smoke inside of a man's heart and becomes a thing sweeter to him by far than the dripping of honey. [tr. Lattimore (1951)]

Ah, let strife and rancor perish from the lives of gods and men, with anger that envenoms even the wise and is far sweeter than slow-dripping honey, clouding the hearts of men like smoke.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1974)]

If only strife could die from the lives of gods and men
and anger that drives the sanest man to flare in outrage --
bitter gall, sweeter than dripping streams of honey,
that swarms in people's chests and blinds like smoke.
[tr. Fagles (1990), l. 126ff]
Added on 10-Feb-21 | Last updated 1-Dec-21
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Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead!
In peace, there’s nothing so becomes a man,
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favored rage ….

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Henry V, Act 3, sc. 1, l. 1ff [Henry] (1599)
Added on 12-Feb-18 | Last updated 27-Jun-22
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It is the trifles of life that are its bores, after all. Most men can meet ruin calmly, for instance, or laugh when they lie in a ditch with their own knee-joint and their hunter’s spine broken over the double post and rails: it is the mud that has choked up your horn just when you wanted to rally the pack; it’s the whip who carries you off to a division just when you’ve sat down to your turbot; it’s the ten seconds by which you miss the train; it’s the dust that gets in your eyes as you go down to Epsom; it’s the pretty little rose note that went by accident to your house instead of your club, and raised a storm from madame; it’s the dog that always will run wild into the birds; it’s the cook who always will season the white soup wrong — it is these that are the bores of life, and that try the temper of your philosophy.

Ouida (1839-1908) English novelist [pseud. of Maria Louise Ramé]
Under Two Flags, ch. 1 (1867)
Added on 3-Oct-17 | Last updated 3-Oct-17
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True courage … has so little to do with Anger, that there lies always the strongest Suspicion against it, where this Passion is highest. The true Courage is the cool and calm. The bravest of Men have the least of a brutal bullying Insolence; and in the very time of Danger are found the most serene, pleasant, and free. Rage, we know, can make a Coward forget himself and fight. But what is done in Fury, or Anger, can never be plac’d to the account of Courage.

Anthony Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury (1671-1713) English politician and philosopher
Characteristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times, Vol. 1, “Sensus Communis” (1711)
Added on 19-Dec-14 | Last updated 19-Dec-14
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Upon my knees, what doth your speech import?
I understand a fury in your words,
But not the words.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Othello, Act 4, sc. 2, l. 37ff [Desdemona] (1603)
Added on 7-Feb-14 | Last updated 29-Jun-22
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Courage (in a soldier) is maintained by a certain anger; anger is a little blind and likes to strike out. And from this follows a thousand abuses, a thousand evils and misfortunes that are impossible to predict in an army during war.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 22-Jul-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Anger is never without an Argument, but seldom with a good one.

George Savile, Marquis of Halifax (1633-1695) English politician and essayist
“Of Anger,” Political, Moral, and Miscellaneous Thoughts and Reflections (1750)
Added on 27-May-08 | Last updated 30-Jan-20
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An angry man is again angry with himself when he returns to reason.

Publilius Syrus (d. 42 BC) Assyrian slave, writer, philosopher [less correctly Publius Syrus]
Sententiae [Moral Sayings]
Added on 3-Aug-07 | Last updated 15-Feb-17
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To be in anger is impiety;
But who is man that is not angry?

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Timon of Athens, Act 3, sc. 5, l. 58ff [Alcibiades] (1606) [with Thomas Middleton]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 30-Jun-22
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To let a sudden fit of anger make you forget the dangers you risk for yourself and for those who are nearest and dearest to you — is this not clouded judgment?

[A. 一朝之忿、忘其身以及其親、非惑與。]

[B. 一朝之忿忘其身以及其亲非惑与]

Confucius (c. 551- c. 479 BC) Chinese philosopher, sage, politician [孔夫子 (Kǒng Fūzǐ, K'ung Fu-tzu, K'ung Fu Tse), 孔子 (Kǒngzǐ, Chungni), 孔丘 (Kǒng Qiū, K'ung Ch'iu)]
The Analects [論語, 论语, Lúnyǔ], Book 12, verse 21 (12.21) (6th C. BC – AD 3rd C.) [tr. Chin (2014)]

Waley suggests the internal rhymes in both the questions in 12.21 and this particular answer mean they are quotations from an outside source, a "didactic poem," and thus carry additional meaning now lost.

(Source (Chinese) A, B). Alternate translations:

For a morning's anger to disregard one's own life, and involve that of his parents; -- is not this a case of delusion?
[tr. Legge (1861)]

And as to illusions, is not one morning's fit of anger, causing a man to forget himself, and even involving the consequences those who are near and dear to him -- is not that an illusion?
[tr. Jennings (1895)]

If a man allows himself to lose his temper and forget himself of a morning, in such a way as to become careless for the safety of is own person and for the safety of his parents and friends: -- is that not a case of a great delusion in life?
[tr. Ku Hung-Ming (1898)]

For a morning's anger to forget his own safety and involve that of his relatives, is not this irrational?
[tr. Soothill (1910)]

For one morning’s temper to jeopard one's life and even that of one's relatives, isn’t that hallucination?
[tr. Pound (1933)]

Because of a morning's blind rage to forget one's own safety and even endanger one's kith and kin, is that not a case of divided mind?
[tr. Waley (1938)]

In a moment’s burst of anger to forget oneself and one’s family. Wouldn’t this be utter confusion?
[tr. Ware (1950)]

To let a sudden fit of anger make you forget the safety of your own person or even that of your parents, is that not misguided judgment?
[tr. Lau (1979)]

To be oblivious of one's own person and even of one's own parents all because of a morning's anger -- is this not a confusion?
[tr. Dawson (1993)]

To endanger oneself and one's kin in a sudden fit of anger: is this not an instance of incoherence?
[tr. Leys (1997)]

In a fit of rage, you forget yourself and even your parents -- is that not delusion?
[tr. Huang (1997)]

If one has any anger so that one forgets one's pro0per behavior to take the anger upon the relatives, is not one confused?
[tr. Cai/Yu (1998), #307]

In a moment of rage to forget not only one's own person but even one's parents -- is this not being in a quandary?
[tr. Ames/Rosemont (1998)]
For the anger of a morning, to forget one's self and even one's kin, is that not a contradiction?
[tr. Brooks/Brooks (1998)]

To endanger yourself and your family, all in a morning's blind rage -- is that not delusion?
[tr. Hinton (1998)]

To forget yourself in a moment of anger and thereby bring ruin upon both you and your family -- is this not an example of confusion?
[tr. Slingerland (2003)]

Because of one morning's anger, to forget your own safety and even endanger those close to you -- this is faulty thinking, isn't it?
[tr. Watson (2007)]

If you act out of animus with the consequence of hurting yourelf and yoru loved ones, is that an example of delusion?
[tr. Li (2020)]

A common paraphrase of this is "When anger rises, think of the consequences." This is attributed to Confucius in Kang-Hi (K'ang-hsi, Kangxi) The Sacred Edict, Maxim #16 (1670, 1724) [tr. Milne (1817)]. An alternate translation is "In anger, think of the trouble" [tr. Baller (1892), ch. 16, sec. 15]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 8-May-23
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Anger is momentary madness, so control your passion or it will control you.

[Ira furor brevis est: animum rege: qui nisi paret imperat.]

Horace (65-8 BC) Roman poet and satirist [Quintus Horacius Flaccus]
Epistles, Book 1, Epistle 2, l. 62 (c. 20 BC and 14 BC)

Alt. trans.: "Anger is a short madness." "Anger is a short-lived madness." "Anger is a brief lunacy."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 3-May-19
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