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Part 1

Edward Reynolds recognizes that anger is tied to self-love. He observes,

The fundamental and essential cause of anger, is contempt from others, meeting with the love of ourselves (224).

So the second way (of eight) to manage the passion of anger is:

To convert it inward into a self-displicence and severity towards our own errors:

for the more acquainted any man is with himself, the less matter he will find of anger with other men, as having so much both to do, and to blame, at home.

Anger ever ariseth from the value which we set upon ourselves; which will ever then be most modest, when we take of it the fullest view (241).

In other words, we should seek to apply first zeal towards our own deficiencies before we allow the deficiencies of others to kindle our ire. He advises that the one “too wise in his judgment of other men’s errors, will be easily too foolish in the nourishing of his own passion” (232). Having a better understanding of ourselves and a modest outlook as to our own personage will temper our temper.

This brings Reynolds to a third suggestion for managing anger:

Follow it not too close; join not too soon nor too hastily with it;

though it may be used sometimes, it must never be encouraged, being over-bold and forward of itself.

And therefore as many drugs must be prepared, before we dare to use them; so we must take heed of despatching [sic] this affection without its due corrective.

It must first be schooled, before it be employed; as men bridle their horses, before they ride them. It is not good drinking in muddy water, so soon as it is stirred; give it time to subside and settle (241).

The metaphor of controlling a horse with a bridle has been often applied to managing the passions of men. The remarks against hastiness does not translate to counting or reciting the alphabet to quiet anger, which is “too boyish and slight, as diverting the mind from the occasion to some other trifle, which is only to cozen, and not to conquer our distemper” (238). In this point, he also shows a common belief that such affections of men should be educated or “schooled.” It was contrary to his understanding of human nature (it being depraved) to allow passions to run wild and uncultivated.

desires; for always the vaster and exacter our desires are, it is so much the harder for them to be pleased or satisfied. And therefore, as the philosopher [Aristotle] notes, luxurious men are usually transported with anger, because men love not to be stopped in their pleasures . . . (Treatise, 232).

He compares a river or wind gathering strength at an obstructed place with the strength of anger at unsatisfied desires.