• Speed: The melancholic is slow to react. Because their reactions are slow in coming, they prefer quiet thought to enthusiastic conversation. One advantage of this temperament is critical insight into the strengths and weaknesses of a project, but one disadvantage is pessimism in the face of all the foreseen difficulties.
  • Intensity: This humor’s immediate reaction has a deep intensity that may not be apparent to others. They may seem indifferent in conversation, but they do listen and think over the events of their life. While their intensity for ideas is great, they may forget about serving people and friends.
  • Duration: Melancholic reactions endure long after the event. They often remember insults; they can hold onto grudges. Nevertheless, they have a great capacity for rigorous study. Although the long reactions help melancholics to contemplate, they need to learn when to take action.

Advice for Tempering

  • Virtues to seek
    • Speed: promptness, quickness, zeal, liveliness, openness
    • Intensity: cheerfulness, positivity, joy, audacity, strength, generosity, friendliness, amiability
    • Duration: forgiving, understanding, ambition
  • Vices to avoid
    • Speed: inaction, standoffishness, irresolution, despondency, awkwardness
    • Intensity: complaining, critical, sadness, grief, pride, depression, harshness, passivity, disagreeable, ill-humored, peevish, downcast, moody
    • Duration: envy, rumination, fantasy, feeble, resentment, despair
  • Dominant Passion to Bridle
    • Fear
    • Sadness
    • Hatred
  • Dormant Passion to Spur
    • Daring
    • Joy
    • Love

Examples from Western Literature