ADVANTAGES

There is, then, some other element in courage than mere indifference to danger; cowardice is something more than a mere shrinking away from danger. If we examine the subject more closely, we shall find that two moral qualities -- faithfulness to duty and self-control -- are, no less than bravery, our tests of courage. A man may be brave, absolutely fearless, and yet lack courage; not moral courage, but physical courage of the higher kind. Indeed, the man who does not know the sensation of fear (and there are men so constituted) can never be truly courageous. His bravery lacks moral quality; it is instinctive, like that of the bull-dog, which sends him headlong at the bull's nostrils at his first sight of the animal, and shuts his laws with grip that even death does not unloose. Such bravery is mere indifference to danger; and mere indifference has no moral quality, good or bad. No act is laudable that is not the consequence of volition; no moral state is virtuous that is not the result of self-control. The truly courageous man is he, who being sensible to fear, yet from faithfulness to duty and from self-respect conquers his fear and faces his enemy. And the greater his nervous apprehension of danger, the higher the quality of his courage; and, if he have attained absolute self-command, the more serviceable is it, because the more completely and sensibly does its possessor appreciate the dangers which he is called upon to overcome.

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