Revenge, is one of the most detestable passions that torment the human breast, and which consists in a vindictive desire of avenging real or imaginary wrongs. It widely differs from the transient or sudden resentment or indignation we feel at the first perception of an injury; and which, if it do not exceed the limits of moderation, is often commendable, nay sometimes necessary for self-preservation. On the contrary, revenge is a deliberate and malignant vice, that is frequently committed, several years after the offence had been given.
This passion generally prevails in weak, uninformed, or immoral persons, who scruple not to exercise the most iniquitous reprisals :-in order to prevent such barbarous conduct, all civilized nations have enacted laws, for preventing the gratification of private malice. These, however, are too easily evaded ; and a species of revenge, sanctioned by the law of honour, is suffered to exist with impunity, which is in all respects as mean and degrading as the practice of pugilism, while it produces consequences equally fatal. - See also, Anger, Duel, and War.