Meekness is a mean state, having for its object-matter Anger: and as the character in the mean has no name, and we may almost say the same of the extremes, we give the name of Meekness (leaning rather to the defect, which has no name either) to the character in the mean.
The excess may be called an over-aptness to Anger: for the passion is Anger, and the producing causes many and various. Now he who is angry at what and with whom he ought, and further, in right manner and time, and for proper length of time, is praised, so this Man will be Meek since Meekness is praised. For the notion represented by the term Meek man is the being imperturbable, and not being led away by passion, but being angry in that manner, and at those things, and for that length of time, which Reason may direct. This character however is thought to err rather on [Sidenote:1126a] the side of defect, inasmuch as he is not apt to take revenge but rather to make allowances and forgive. And the defect, call it Angerlessness or what you will, is blamed: I mean, they who are not angry at things at which they ought to be angry are thought to be foolish, and they who are angry not in right manner, nor in right time, nor with those with whom they ought; for a man who labours under this defect is thought to have no perception, nor to be pained, and to have no tendency to avenge himself, inasmuch as he feels no anger: now to bear with scurrility in one's own person, and patiently see one's own friends suffer it, is a slavish thing.
As for the excess, it occurs in all forms; men are angry with those with whom, and at things with which, they ought not to be, and more than they ought, and too hastily, and for too great a length of time. I do not mean, however, that these are combined in any one person: that would in fact be impossible, because the evil destroys itself, and if it is developed in its full force it becomes unbearable.
Now those whom we term the Passionate are soon angry, and with people with whom and at things at which they ought not, and in an excessive degree, but they soon cool