Clauzwitz is channeling Aristotle again. He says that strength of character consists of having powerful emotions balanced with self-control:
If we consider how men differ in their emotional reactions, we first find a group with small capacity for being roused, usually known as ‘stolid’ or ‘phlegmatic.”
Second, there are men who are extremely active, but whose feelings never rise above a certain level, men whom we know to be sensitive but calm.
Third, there are men whose passions are easily inflamed, in whom excitement flares up suddenly but soon burns out, like gunpowder. And finally we come to those who do not react to minor matters, who will be moved only very gradually, not suddenly, but whose emotions attain great strength and durability. These are the men whose passions are strong, deep, and concealed. Continue reading “The best kind of officer”