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Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια

[ed. J. Bywater, Aristotle's Ethica Nicomachea. Oxford, 1894]

translated by William David Ross
Clarendon Press 1908

Βιβλίο IV, 1

  C. Virtues concerned with money.
1. Liberality, prodigality, meanness.
[1119b] λέγωμεν δ᾽ ἑξῆς περὶ ἐλευθεριότητος. δοκεῖ δὴ εἶναι ἡ περὶ χρήματα μεσότης· ἐπαινεῖται γὰρ ὁ ἐλευθέριος οὐκ ἐν τοῖς πολεμικοῖς, οὐδ᾽ ἐν οἷς ὁ σώφρων, οὐδ᾽ αὖ ἐν ταῖς κρίσεσιν, (25) ἀλλὰ περὶ δόσιν χρημάτων καὶ λῆψιν, μᾶλλον δ᾽ ἐν τῇ δόσει. χρήματα δὲ λέγομεν πάντα ὅσων ἡ ἀξία νομίσματι μετρεῖται.      LET us speak next of liberality. It seems to be the mean with regard to wealth; for the liberal man is praised not in respect of military matters, nor of those in respect of which the temrate man is praised, nor of judicial decisions, but with regard to the giving and taking of wealth, and especially in respect of giving. Now by 'wealth' we mean all the things whose value is measured by money.
ἔστι δὲ καὶ ἡ ἀσωτία καὶ ἡ ἀνελευθερία περὶ χρήματα ὑπερβολαὶ καὶ ἐλλείψεις· καὶ τὴν μὲν ἀνελευθερίαν προσάπτομεν ἀεὶ τοῖς μᾶλλον ἢ δεῖ περὶ χρήματα (30) σπουδάζουσι, τὴν δ᾽ ἀσωτίαν ἐπιφέρομεν ἐνίοτε συμπλέκοντες· τοὺς γὰρ ἀκρατεῖς καὶ εἰς ἀκολασίαν δαπανηροὺς ἀσώτους καλοῦμεν. Further, prodigality and meanness are excesses and defects with regard to wealth; and meanness we always impute to those who care more than they ought for wealth, but we sometimes apply the word 'prodigality' in a complex sense; for we call those men prodigals who are incontinent and spend money on self-indulgence.
διὸ καὶ φαυλότατοι δοκοῦσιν εἶναι· πολλὰς γὰρ ἅμα κακίας ἔχουσιν. οὐ δὴ οἰκείως προσαγορεύονται· βούλεται γὰρ ἄσωτος εἶναι ὁ ἓν κακὸν ἔχων, [1120a] (1) τὸ φθείρειν τὴν οὐσίαν· ἄσωτος γὰρ ὁ δι᾽ αὑτὸν ἀπολλύμενος, δοκεῖ δ᾽ ἀπώλειά τις αὑτοῦ εἶναι καὶ ἡ τῆς οὐσίας φθορά, ὡς τοῦ ζῆν διὰ τούτων ὄντος. Hence also they are thought the poorest characters; for they combine more vices than one. Therefore the application of the word to them is not its proper use; for a 'prodigal' means a man who has a single evil quality, that of wasting his substance; since a prodigal is one who is being ruined by his own fault, and the wasting of substance is thought to be a sort of ruining of oneself, life being held to depend on possession of substance.
οὕτω δὴ τὴν ἀσωτίαν ἐκδεχόμεθα. ὧν δ᾽ ἐστὶ χρεία, ἔστι τούτοις χρῆσθαι καὶ εὖ καὶ κακῶς· (5) ὁ πλοῦτος δ᾽ ἐστὶ τῶν χρησίμων· ἑκάστῳ δ᾽ ἄριστα χρῆται ὁ ἔχων τὴν περὶ τοῦτο ἀρετήν· καὶ πλούτῳ δὴ χρήσεται ἄριστα ὁ ἔχων τὴν περὶ τὰ χρήματα ἀρετήν· οὗτος δ᾽ ἐστὶν ὁ ἐλευθέριος. χρῆσις δ᾽ εἶναι δοκεῖ χρημάτων δαπάνη καὶ δόσις· ἡ δὲ λῆψις καὶ ἡ φυλακὴ κτῆσις μᾶλλον. διὸ μᾶλλόν (10) ἐστι τοῦ ἐλευθερίου τὸ διδόναι οἷς δεῖ ἢ λαμβάνειν ὅθεν δεῖ καὶ μὴ λαμβάνειν ὅθεν οὐ δεῖ.      This, then, is the sense in which we take the word 'prodigality'. Now the things that have a use may be used either well or badly; and riches is a useful thing; and everything is used best by the man who has the virtue concerned with it; riches, therefore, will be used best by the man who has the virtue concerned with wealth; and this is the liberal man. Now spending and giving seem to be the using of wealth; taking and keeping rather the possession of it. Hence it is more the mark of the liberal man to give to the right people than to take from the right sources and not to take from the wrong.
τῆς γὰρ ἀρετῆς μᾶλλον τὸ εὖ ποιεῖν ἢ τὸ εὖ πάσχειν, καὶ τὰ καλὰ πράττειν μᾶλλον ἢ τὰ αἰσχρὰ μὴ πράττειν· οὐκ ἄδηλον δ᾽ ὅτι τῇ μὲν δόσει ἕπεται τὸ εὖ ποιεῖν καὶ τὸ καλὰ πράττειν, τῇ δὲ λήψει (15) τὸ εὖ πάσχειν ἢ μὴ αἰσχροπραγεῖν. For it is more characteristic of virtue to do good than to have good done to one, and more characteristic to do what is noble than not to do what is base; and it is not hard to see that giving implies doing good and doing what is noble, and taking implies having good done to one or not acting basely.
καὶ ἡ χάρις τῷ διδόντι, οὐ τῷ μὴ λαμβάνοντι, καὶ ὁ ἔπαινος δὲ μᾶλλον. καὶ ῥᾷον δὲ τὸ μὴ λαβεῖν τοῦ δοῦναι· τὸ γὰρ οἰκεῖον ἧττον προΐενται μᾶλλον ἢ οὐ λαμβάνουσι τὸ ἀλλότριον. And gratitude is felt towards him who gives, not towards him who does not take, and praise also is bestowed more on him. It is easier, also, not to take than to give; for men are apter to give away their own too little than to take what is another's.
καὶ ἐλευθέριοι δὲ λέγονται οἱ διδόντες· οἱ δὲ μὴ λαμβάνοντες οὐκ (20) εἰς ἐλευθεριότητα ἐπαινοῦνται, ἀλλ᾽ οὐχ ἧττον εἰς δικαιοσύνην· οἱ δὲ λαμβάνοντες οὐδ᾽ ἐπαινοῦνται πάνυ. φιλοῦνται δὲ σχεδὸν μάλιστα οἱ ἐλευθέριοι τῶν ἀπ᾽ ἀρετῆς· ὠφέλιμοι γὰρ, τοῦτο δ᾽ ἐν τῇ δόσει. Givers, too, are called liberal; but those who do not take are not praised for liberality but rather for justice; while those who take are hardly praised at all. And the liberal are almost the most loved of all virtuous characters, since they are useful; and this depends on their giving.
αἱ δὲ κατ᾽ ἀρετὴν πράξεις καλαὶ καὶ τοῦ καλοῦ ἕνεκα. καὶ ὁ ἐλευθέριος οὖν δώσει τοῦ καλοῦ ἕνεκα (25) καὶ ὀρθῶς· οἷς γὰρ δεῖ καὶ ὅσα καὶ ὅτε, καὶ τἆλλα ὅσα ἕπεται τῇ ὀρθῇ δόσει· καὶ ταῦτα ἡδέως ἢ ἀλύπως· τὸ γὰρ κατ᾽ ἀρετὴν ἡδὺ ἢ ἄλυπον, ἥκιστα δὲ λυπηρόν.      Now virtuous actions are noble and done for the sake of the noble. Therefore the liberal man, like other virtuous men, will give for the sake of the noble, and rightly; for he will give to the right people, the right amounts, and at the right time, with all the other qualifications that accompany right giving; and that too with pleasure or without pain; for that which is virtuous is pleasant or free from pain-least of all will it be painful.
ὁ δὲ διδοὺς οἷς μὴ δεῖ, ἢ μὴ τοῦ καλοῦ ἕνεκα ἀλλὰ διά τιν᾽ ἄλλην αἰτίαν, οὐκ ἐλευθέριος ἀλλ᾽ ἄλλος τις ῥηθήσεται. οὐδ᾽ ὁ λυπηρῶς· (30) μᾶλλον γὰρ ἕλοιτ᾽ ἂν τὰ χρήματα τῆς καλῆς πράξεως, τοῦτο δ᾽ οὐκ ἐλευθερίου. But he who gives to the wrong people or not for the sake of the noble but for some other cause, will be called not liberal but by some other name. Nor is he liberal who gives with pain; for he would prefer the wealth to the noble act, and this is not characteristic of a liberal man.
οὐδὲ λήψεται δὲ ὅθεν μὴ δεῖ· οὐ γάρ ἐστι τοῦ μὴ τιμῶντος τὰ χρήματα ἡ τοιαύτη λῆψις. οὐκ ἂν εἴη δὲ οὐδ᾽ αἰτητικός· οὐ γάρ ἐστι τοῦ εὖ ποιοῦντος εὐχερῶς εὐεργετεῖσθαι. ὅθεν δὲ δεῖ, λήψεται, [1120b] (1) οἷον ἀπὸ τῶν ἰδίων κτημάτων, οὐχ ὡς καλὸν ἀλλ᾽ ὡς ἀναγκαῖον, ὅπως ἔχῃ διδόναι. But no more will the liberal man take from wrong sources; for such taking is not characteristic of the man who sets no store by wealth. Nor will he be a ready asker; for it is not characteristic of a man who confers benefits to accept them lightly. But he will take from the right sources, e.g. from his own possessions, not as something noble but as a necessity, that he may have something to give.
οὐδ᾽ ἀμελήσει τῶν ἰδίων, βουλόμενός γε διὰ τούτων τισὶν ἐπαρκεῖν. οὐδὲ τοῖς τυχοῦσι δώσει, ἵνα ἔχῃ διδόναι οἷς δεῖ καὶ ὅτε καὶ οὗ καλόν. Nor will he neglect his own property, since he wishes by means of this to help others. And he will refrain from giving to anybody and everybody, that he may have something to give to the right people, at the right time, and where it is noble to do so.
ἐλευθερίου δ᾽ ἐστὶ (5) σφόδρα καὶ τὸ ὑπερβάλλειν ἐν τῇ δόσει, ὥστε καταλείπειν ἑαυτῷ ἐλάττω· τὸ γὰρ μὴ βλέπειν ἐφ᾽ ἑαυτὸν ἐλευθερίου. κατὰ τὴν οὐσίαν δ᾽ ἡ ἐλευθεριότης λέγεται· οὐ γὰρ ἐν τῷ πλήθει τῶν διδομένων τὸ ἐλευθέριον, ἀλλ᾽ ἐν τῇ τοῦ διδόντος ἕξει, αὕτη δὲ κατὰ τὴν οὐσίαν δίδωσιν. It is highly characteristic of a liberal man also to go to excess in giving, so that he leaves too little for himself; for it is the nature of a liberal man not to look to himself. The term 'liberality' is used relatively to a man's substance; for liberality resides not in the multitude of the gifts but in the state of character of the giver, and this is relative to the giver's substance.
οὐθὲν δὴ κωλύει (10) ἐλευθεριώτερον εἶναι τὸν τὰ ἐλάττω διδόντα, ἐὰν ἀπ᾽ ἐλαττόνων διδῷ. ἐλευθεριώτεροι δὲ εἶναι δοκοῦσιν οἱ μὴ κτησάμενοι ἀλλὰ παραλαβόντες τὴν οὐσίαν· ἄπειροί τε γὰρ τῆς ἐνδείας, καὶ πάντες ἀγαπῶσι μᾶλλον τὰ αὑτῶν ἔργα, ὥσπερ οἱ γονεῖς καὶ οἱ ποιηταί. There is therefore nothing to prevent the man who gives less from being the more liberal man, if he has less to give those are thought to be more liberal who have not made their wealth but inherited it; for in the first place they have no experience of want, and secondly all men are fonder of their own productions, as are parents and poets.
πλουτεῖν δ᾽ οὐ ῥᾴδιον τὸν (15) ἐλευθέριον, μήτε ληπτικὸν ὄντα μήτε φυλακτικόν, προετικὸν δὲ καὶ μὴ τιμῶντα δι᾽ αὐτὰ τὰ χρήματα ἀλλ᾽ ἕνεκα τῆς δόσεως. διὸ καὶ ἐγκαλεῖται τῇ τύχῃ ὅτι οἱ μάλιστα ἄξιοι ὄντες ἥκιστα πλουτοῦσιν. It is not easy for the liberal man to be rich, since he is not apt either at taking or at keeping, but at giving away, and does not value wealth for its own sake but as a means to giving. Hence comes the charge that is brought against fortune, that those who deserve riches most get it least.
συμβαίνει δ᾽ οὐκ ἀλόγως τοῦτο· οὐ γὰρ οἷόν τε χρήματ᾽ ἔχειν μὴ ἐπιμελόμενον ὅπως ἔχῃ, ὥσπερ (20) οὐδ᾽ ἐπὶ τῶν ἄλλων. οὐ μὴν δώσει γε οἷς οὐ δεῖ οὐδ᾽ ὅτε μὴ δεῖ, οὐδ᾽ ὅσα ἄλλα τοιαῦτα· οὐ γὰρ ἂν ἔτι πράττοι κατὰ τὴν ἐλευθεριότητα, καὶ εἰς ταῦτα ἀναλώσας οὐκ ἂν ἔχοι εἰς ἃ δεῖ ἀναλίσκειν. ὥσπερ γὰρ εἴρηται, ἐλευθέριός ἐστιν ὁ κατὰ τὴν οὐσίαν δαπανῶν καὶ εἰς ἃ δεῖ· ὁ δ᾽ ὑπερβάλλων (25) ἄσωτος. But it is not unreasonable that it should turn out so; for he cannot have wealth, any more than anything else, if he does not take pains to have it. Yet he will not give to the wrong people nor at the wrong time, and so on; for he would no longer be acting in accordance with liberality, and if he spent on these objects he would have nothing to spend on the right objects. For, as has been said, he is liberal who spends according to his substance and on the right objects; and he who exceeds is prodigal.
διὸ τοὺς τυράννους οὐ λέγομεν ἀσώτους· τὸ γὰρ πλῆθος τῆς κτήσεως οὐ δοκεῖ ῥᾴδιον εἶναι ταῖς δόσεσι καὶ ταῖς δαπάναις ὑπερβάλλειν. τῆς ἐλευθεριότητος δὴ μεσότητος οὔσης περὶ χρημάτων δόσιν καὶ λῆψιν, ὁ ἐλευθέριος καὶ δώσει καὶ δαπανήσει εἰς ἃ δεῖ καὶ ὅσα δεῖ, ὁμοίως ἐν μικροῖς (30) καὶ μεγάλοις, καὶ ταῦτα ἡδέως· καὶ λήψεται δ᾽ ὅθεν δεῖ καὶ ὅσα δεῖ. Hence we do not call despots prodigal; for it is thought not easy for them to give and spend beyond the amount of their possessions. Liberality, then, being a mean with regard to giving and taking of wealth, the liberal man will both give and spend the right amounts and on the right objects, alike in small things and in great, and that with pleasure; he will also take the right amounts and from the right sources.
τῆς ἀρετῆς γὰρ περὶ ἄμφω οὔσης μεσότητος, ποιήσει ἀμφότερα ὡς δεῖ· ἕπεται γὰρ τῇ ἐπιεικεῖ δόσει ἡ τοιαύτη λῆψις, ἡ δὲ μὴ τοιαύτη ἐναντία ἐστίν. αἱ μὲν οὖν ἑπόμεναι γίνονται ἅμα ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ, αἱ δ᾽ ἐναντίαι δῆλον ὡς οὔ. [1121a] (1) ἐὰν δὲ παρὰ τὸ δέον καὶ τὸ καλῶς ἔχον συμβαίνῃ αὐτῷ ἀναλίσκειν, λυπήσεται, μετρίως δὲ καὶ ὡς δεῖ· τῆς ἀρετῆς γὰρ καὶ ἥδεσθαι καὶ λυπεῖσθαι ἐφ᾽ οἷς δεῖ καὶ ὡς δεῖ. For, the virtue being a mean with regard to both, he will do both as he ought; since this sort of taking accompanies proper giving, and that which is not of this sort is contrary to it, and accordingly the giving and taking that accompany each other are present together in the same man, while the contrary kinds evidently are not. But if he happens to spend in a manner contrary to what is right and noble, he will be pained, but moderately and as he ought; for it is the mark of virtue both to be pleased and to be pained at the right objects and in the right way.
καὶ εὐκοινώνητος δ᾽ ἐστὶν ὁ ἐλευθέριος εἰς χρήματα· (5) δύναται γὰρ ἀδικεῖσθαι, μὴ τιμῶν γε τὰ χρήματα, καὶ μᾶλλον ἀχθόμενος εἴ τι δέον μὴ ἀνάλωσεν ἢ λυπούμενος εἰ μὴ δέον τι ἀνάλωσεν, καὶ τῷ Σιμωνίδῃ οὐκ ἀρεσκόμενος. Further, the liberal man is easy to deal with in money matters; for he can be got the better of, since he sets no store by money, and is more annoyed if he has not spent something that he ought than pained if he has spent something that he ought not, and does not agree with the saying of Simonides.
ὁ δ᾽ ἄσωτος καὶ ἐν τούτοις διαμαρτάνει· οὔτε γὰρ ἥδεται ἐφ᾽ οἷς δεῖ οὐδὲ ὡς δεῖ οὔτε λυπεῖται· ἔσται δὲ προϊοῦσι φανερώτερον. (10) εἴρηται δὴ ἡμῖν ὅτι ὑπερβολαὶ καὶ ἐλλείψεις εἰσὶν ἡ ἀσωτία καὶ ἡ ἀνελευθερία, καὶ ἐν δυσίν, ἐν δόσει καὶ λήψει· καὶ τὴν δαπάνην γὰρ εἰς τὴν δόσιν τίθεμεν. ἡ μὲν οὖν ἀσωτία τῷ διδόναι καὶ μὴ λαμβάνειν ὑπερβάλλει, τῷ δὲ λαμβάνειν ἐλλείπει, ἡ δ᾽ ἀνελευθερία τῷ διδόναι μὲν ἐλλείπει, (15) τῷ λαμβάνειν δ᾽ ὑπερβάλλει, πλὴν ἐν μικροῖς.      The prodigal errs in these respects also; for he is neither pleased nor pained at the right things or in the right way; this will be more evident as we go on. We have said that prodigality and meanness are excesses and deficiencies, and in two things, in giving and in taking; for we include spending under giving. Now prodigality exceeds in giving and not taking, while meanness falls short in giving, and exceeds in taking, except in small things.
τὰ μὲν οὖν τῆς ἀσωτίας οὐ πάνυ συνδυάζεται· οὐ γὰρ ῥᾴδιον μηδαμόθεν λαμβάνοντα πᾶσι διδόναι· ταχέως γὰρ ἐπιλείπει ἡ οὐσία τοὺς ἰδιώτας διδόντας, οἵπερ καὶ δοκοῦσιν ἄσωτοι εἶναι· ἐπεὶ ὅ γε τοιοῦτος δόξειεν ἂν οὐ μικρῷ βελτίων εἶναι (20) τοῦ ἀνελευθέρου.      The characteristics of prodigality are not often combined; for it is not easy to give to all if you take from none; private persons soon exhaust their substance with giving, and it is to these that the name of prodigals is applied- though a man of this sort would seem to be in no small degree better than a mean man.
εὐίατός τε γάρ ἐστι καὶ ὑπὸ τῆς ἡλικίας καὶ ὑπὸ τῆς ἀπορίας, καὶ ἐπὶ τὸ μέσον δύναται ἐλθεῖν. ἔχει γὰρ τὰ τοῦ ἐλευθερίου· καὶ γὰρ δίδωσι καὶ οὐ λαμβάνει, οὐδέτερον δ᾽ ὡς δεῖ οὐδ᾽ εὖ. For he is easily cured both by age and by poverty, and thus he may move towards the middle state. For he has the characteristics of the liberal man, since he both gives and refrains from taking, though he does neither of these in the right manner or well.
εἰ δὴ τοῦτο ἐθισθείη ἤ πως ἄλλως μεταβάλοι, εἴη ἂν ἐλευθέριος· δώσει γὰρ οἷς δεῖ, (25) καὶ οὐ λήψεται ὅθεν οὐ δεῖ. διὸ καὶ δοκεῖ οὐκ εἶναι φαῦλος τὸ ἦθος· οὐ γὰρ μοχθηροῦ οὐδ᾽ ἀγεννοῦς τὸ ὑπερβάλλειν διδόντα καὶ μὴ λαμβάνοντα, ἠλιθίου δέ. Therefore if he were brought to do so by habituation or in some other way, he would be liberal; for he will then give to the right people, and will not take from the wrong sources. This is why he is thought to have not a bad character; it is not the mark of a wicked or ignoble man to go to excess in giving and not taking, but only of a foolish one.
ὁ δὲ τοῦτον τὸν τρόπον ἄσωτος πολὺ δοκεῖ βελτίων τοῦ ἀνελευθέρου εἶναι διά τε τὰ εἰρημένα, καὶ ὅτι ὃ μὲν ὠφελεῖ πολλούς, ὃ δὲ οὐθένα, (30) ἀλλ᾽ οὐδ᾽ αὑτόν. The man who is prodigal in this way is thought much better than the mean man both for the aforesaid reasons and because he benefits many while the other benefits no one, not even himself.
ἀλλ᾽ οἱ πολλοὶ τῶν ἀσώτων, καθάπερ εἴρηται, καὶ λαμβάνουσιν ὅθεν μὴ δεῖ, καὶ εἰσὶ κατὰ τοῦτο ἀνελεύθεροι. ληπτικοὶ δὲ γίνονται διὰ τὸ βούλεσθαι μὲν ἀναλίσκειν, εὐχερῶς δὲ τοῦτο ποιεῖν μὴ δύνασθαι· ταχὺ γὰρ ἐπιλείπει αὐτοὺς τὰ ὑπάρχοντα. ἀναγκάζονται οὖν ἑτέρωθεν πορίζειν.      But most prodigal people, as has been said, also take from the wrong sources, and are in this respect mean. They become apt to take because they wish to spend and cannot do this easily; for their possessions soon run short. Thus they are forced to provide means from some other source.
[1121b] (1) ἅμα δὲ καὶ διὰ τὸ μηδὲν τοῦ καλοῦ φροντίζειν ὀλιγώρως καὶ πάντοθεν λαμβάνουσιν· διδόναι γὰρ ἐπιθυμοῦσι, τὸ δὲ πῶς ἢ πόθεν οὐδὲν αὐτοῖς διαφέρει. διόπερ οὐδ᾽ ἐλευθέριοι αἱ δόσεις αὐτῶν εἰσίν· οὐ γὰρ καλαί, οὐδὲ τούτου (5) ἕνεκα, οὐδὲ ὡς δεῖ· ἀλλ᾽ ἐνίοτε οὓς δεῖ πένεσθαι, τούτους πλουσίους ποιοῦσι, καὶ τοῖς μὲν μετρίοις τὰ ἤθη οὐδὲν ἂν δοῖεν, τοῖς δὲ κόλαξιν ἤ τιν᾽ ἄλλην ἡδονὴν πορίζουσι πολλά. At the same time, because they care nothing for honour, they take recklessly and from any source; for they have an appetite for giving, and they do not mind how or from what source. Hence also their giving is not liberal; for it is not noble, nor does it aim at nobility, nor is it done in the right way; sometimes they make rich those who should be poor, and will give nothing to people of respectable character, and much to flatterers or those who provide them with some other pleasure.
διὸ καὶ ἀκόλαστοι αὐτῶν εἰσὶν οἱ πολλοί· εὐχερῶς γὰρ ἀναλίσκοντες καὶ εἰς τὰς ἀκολασίας δαπανηροί εἰσι, καὶ διὰ τὸ μὴ πρὸς (10) τὸ καλὸν ζῆν πρὸς τὰς ἡδονὰς ἀποκλίνουσιν. Hence also most of them are self-indulgent; for they spend lightly and waste money on their indulgences, and incline towards pleasures because they do not live with a view to what is noble.
ὁ μὲν οὖν ἄσωτος ἀπαιδαγώγητος γενόμενος εἰς ταῦτα μεταβαίνει, τυχὼν δ᾽ ἐπιμελείας εἰς τὸ μέσον καὶ εἰς τὸ δέον ἀφίκοιτ᾽ ἄν. ἡ δ᾽ ἀνελευθερία ἀνίατός τ᾽ ἐστίν (δοκεῖ γὰρ τὸ γῆρας καὶ πᾶσα ἀδυναμία ἀνελευθέρους ποιεῖν), καὶ συμφυέστερον τοῖς ἀνθρώποις (15) τῆς ἀσωτίας· οἱ γὰρ πολλοὶ φιλοχρήματοι μᾶλλον ἢ δοτικοί. καὶ διατείνει δ᾽ ἐπὶ πολύ, καὶ πολυειδές ἐστιν· πολλοὶ γὰρ τρόποι δοκοῦσι τῆς ἀνελευθερίας εἶναι.      The prodigal man, then, turns into what we have described if he is left untutored, but if he is treated with care he will arrive at the intermediate and right state. But meanness is both incurable (for old age and every disability is thought to make men mean) and more innate in men than prodigality; for most men are fonder of getting money than of giving. It also extends widely, and is multiform, since there seem to be many kinds of meanness.
ἐν δυσὶ γὰρ οὖσα, τῇ τ᾽ ἐλλείψει τῆς δόσεως καὶ τῇ ὑπερβολῇ τῆς λήψεως, οὐ πᾶσιν ὁλόκληρος παραγίνεται, ἀλλ᾽ ἐνίοτε χωρίζεται, (20) καὶ οἳ μὲν τῇ λήψει ὑπερβάλλουσιν, οἳ δὲ τῇ δόσει ἐλλείπουσιν.      For it consists in two things, deficiency in giving and excess in taking, and is not found complete in all men but is sometimes divided; some men go to excess in taking, others fall short in giving.
οἱ μὲν γὰρ ἐν ταῖς τοιαύταις προσηγορίαις οἷον φειδωλοὶ γλίσχροι κίμβικες, πάντες τῇ δόσει ἐλλείπουσι, τῶν δ᾽ ἀλλοτρίων οὐκ ἐφίενται οὐδὲ βούλονται λαμβάνειν, οἳ μὲν διά τινα ἐπιείκειαν καὶ εὐλάβειαν τῶν αἰσχρῶν (25) (δοκοῦσι γὰρ ἔνιοι ἢ φασί γε διὰ τοῦτο φυλάττειν, ἵνα μή ποτ᾽ ἀναγκασθῶσιν αἰσχρόν τι πρᾶξαι· τούτων δὲ καὶ ὁ κυμινοπρίστης καὶ πᾶς ὁ τοιοῦτος· ὠνόμασται δ᾽ ἀπὸ τῆς ὑπερβολῆς τοῦ μηδὲν ἂν δοῦναι)· οἳ δ᾽ αὖ διὰ φόβον ἀπέχονται τῶν ἀλλοτρίων ὡς οὐ ῥᾴδιον αὐτὸν μὲν τὰ ἑτέρων (30) λαμβάνειν, τὰ δ᾽ αὐτοῦ ἑτέρους μή· ἀρέσκει οὖν αὐτοῖς τὸ μήτε λαμβάνειν μήτε διδόναι. Those who are called by such names as 'miserly', 'close', 'stingy', all fall short in giving, but do not covet the possessions of others nor wish to get them. In some this is due to a sort of honesty and avoidance of what is disgraceful (for some seem, or at least profess, to hoard their money for this reason, that they may not some day be forced to do something disgraceful; to this class belong the cheeseparer and every one of the sort; he is so called from his excess of unwillingness to give anything); while others again keep their hands off the property of others from fear, on the ground that it is not easy, if one takes the property of others oneself, to avoid having one's own taken by them; they are therefore content neither to take nor to give.
οἳ δ᾽ αὖ κατὰ τὴν λῆψιν ὑπερβάλλουσι τῷ πάντοθεν λαμβάνειν καὶ πᾶν, οἷον οἱ τὰς ἀνελευθέρους ἐργασίας ἐργαζόμενοι, πορνοβοσκοὶ καὶ πάντες οἱ τοιοῦτοι, καὶ τοκισταὶ κατὰ μικρὰ καὶ ἐπὶ πολλῷ. [1122a] (1) πάντες γὰρ οὗτοι ὅθεν οὐ δεῖ λαμβάνουσι, καὶ ὁπόσον οὐ δεῖ. κοινὸν δ᾽ ἐπ᾽ αὐτοῖς ἡ αἰσχροκέρδεια φαίνεται· πάντες γὰρ ἕνεκα κέρδους, καὶ τούτου μικροῦ, ὀνείδη ὑπομένουσιν.      Others again exceed in respect of taking by taking anything and from any source, e.g. those who ply sordid trades, pimps and all such people, and those who lend small sums and at high rates. For all of these take more than they ought and from wrong sources. What is common to them is evidently sordid love of gain; they all put up with a bad name for the sake of gain, and little gain at that.
τοὺς γὰρ τὰ μεγάλα μὴ ὅθεν δὲ δεῖ λαμβάνοντας, μηδὲ ἃ δεῖ, οὐ (5) λέγομεν ἀνελευθέρους, οἷον τοὺς τυράννους πόλεις πορθοῦντας καὶ ἱερὰ συλῶντας, ἀλλὰ πονηροὺς μᾶλλον καὶ ἀσεβεῖς καὶ ἀδίκους. For those who make great gains but from wrong sources, and not the right gains, e.g. despots when they sack cities and spoil temples, we do not call mean but rather wicked, impious, and unjust.
ὁ μέντοι κυβευτὴς καὶ ὁ λωποδύτης καὶ ὁ λῃστὴς τῶν ἀνελευθέρων εἰσίν· αἰσχροκερδεῖς γάρ. κέρδους γὰρ ἕνεκα ἀμφότεροι πραγματεύονται καὶ ὀνείδη ὑπομένουσιν, καὶ (10) οἳ μὲν κινδύνους τοὺς μεγίστους ἕνεκα τοῦ λήμματος, οἳ δ᾽ ἀπὸ τῶν φίλων κερδαίνουσιν, οἷς δεῖ διδόναι. ἀμφότεροι δὴ ὅθεν οὐ δεῖ κερδαίνειν βουλόμενοι αἰσχροκερδεῖς· καὶ πᾶσαι δὴ αἱ τοιαῦται λήψεις ἀνελεύθεροι. But the gamester and the footpad (and the highwayman) belong to the class of the mean, since they have a sordid love of gain. For it is for gain that both of them ply their craft and endure the disgrace of it, and the one faces the greatest dangers for the sake of the booty, while the other makes gain from his friends, to whom he ought to be giving. Both, then, since they are willing to make gain from wrong sources, are sordid lovers of gain; therefore all such forms of taking are mean.
εἰκότως δὲ τῇ ἐλευθεριότητι ἀνελευθερία ἐναντίον λέγεται· μεῖζόν τε γάρ ἐστι κακὸν τῆς (15) ἀσωτίας, καὶ μᾶλλον ἐπὶ ταύτην ἁμαρτάνουσιν ἢ κατὰ τὴν λεχθεῖσαν ἀσωτίαν.      And it is natural that meanness is described as the contrary of liberality; for not only is it a greater evil than prodigality, but men err more often in this direction than in the way of prodigality as we have described it.
περὶ μὲν οὖν ἐλευθεριότητος καὶ τῶν ἀντικειμένων κακιῶν τοσαῦτ᾽ εἰρήσθω.      So much, then, for liberality and the opposed vices.


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