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 The components of virtue are justice, courage, self-control, magnificence, magnanimity, liberality, gentleness, practical and speculative wisdom.  The greatest virtues are necessarily those which are most useful to others, if virtue is the faculty of conferring benefits. For this reason justice and courage are the most esteemed, the latter being useful to others in war, the former in peace as well. Next is liberality, for the liberal spend freely and do not dispute the possession of wealth, which is the chief object of other men's desire.  Justice is a virtue which assigns to each man his due in conformity with the law; injustice claims what belongs to others, in opposition to the law.  Courage makes men perform noble acts in the midst of dangers according to the dictates of the law and in submission to it; the contrary is cowardice.  Self-control is a virtue which disposes men in regard to the pleasures of the body as the law prescribes; the contrary is licentiousness.  Liberality does good in many matters; the contrary is avarice.  Magnanimity is a virtue productive of great benefits; the contrary is little-mindedness.  Magnificence is a virtue which produces greatness in matters of expenditure; the contraries are little-mindedness
and meanness.  Practical wisdom is a virtue of reason, which enables men to come to a wise decision in regard to good and evil things, which have been mentioned as connected with happiness.2  Concerning virtue and vice in general and their separate parts, enough has been said for the moment. To discern the rest3 presents no difficulty; for it is evident that whatever produces virtue, as it tends to it, must be noble, and so also must be what comes from virtue; for such are its signs and works.  But since the signs of virtue and such things as are the works and sufferings of a good man are noble, it necessarily follows that all the works and signs of courage and all courageous acts are also noble. The same may be said of just things and of just actions; （but not of what one suffers justly; for in this alone amongst the virtues that which is justly done is not always noble, and a just punishment is more disgraceful than an unjust punishment）. The same applies equally to the other virtues.  Those things of which the reward is honor are noble; also those which are done for honor rather than money. Also, those desirable things which a man does not do for his own sake;  things which are absolutely good, which a man has done for the sake of his country, while neglecting his own interests; things which are naturally good; and not such as are good for the individual,
since such things are inspired by selfish motives.  And those things are noble which it is possible for a man to possess after death rather than during his lifetime, for the latter involve more selfishness;  all acts done for the sake of others, for they are more disinterested; the successes gained, not for oneself but for others; and for one's benefactors, for that is justice; in a word, all acts of kinds, for they are disinterested.  And the contrary of those things of which we are ashamed; for we are ashamed of what is disgraceful, in words, acts, or intention; as, for instance, when Alcaeus said: “ I would fain say something, but shame holds me back,4
” Sappho rejoined: “ Hadst thou desired what was good or noble, and had not thy tongue stirred up some evil to utter it, shame would not have filled thine eyes; but thou would'st have spoken of what is right.5
”  Those things also are noble for which men anxiously strive, but without fear; for men are thus affected about goods which lead to good repute.  Virtues and actions are nobler, when they proceed from those who are naturally worthier, for instance, from a man rather than from a woman.  It is the same with those which are the cause of enjoyment to others rather than to ourselves; this is why justice and that which is just are noble.
 To take vengeance on one's enemies is nobler than to come to terms with them; for to retaliate is just, and that which is just is noble; and further, a courageous man ought not to allow himself to be beaten.  Victory and honor also are noble; for both are desirable even when they are fruitless, and are manifestations of superior virtue. And things worthy of remembrance, which are the more honorable the longer their memory lasts; those which follow us after death; those which are accompanied by honor; and those which are out of the common. Those which are only possessed by a single individual, because they are more worthy of remembrance.  And possessions which bring no profit; for they are more gentlemanly. Customs that are peculiar to individual peoples and all the tokens of what is esteemed among them are noble; for instance, in Lacedaemon it is noble to wear one's hair long, for it is the mark of a gentleman, the performance of any servile task being difficult for one whose hair is long.  And not carrying on any vulgar profession is noble, for a gentleman does not live in dependence on others.  We must also assume, for the purpose of praise or blame, that qualities which closely resemble the real qualities are identical with them; for instance, that the cautious man is cold and designing, the simpleton good-natured, and the emotionless gentle.  And in each case we must adopt a term from qualities closely connected, always in the more favorable sense; for instance, the choleric and passionate man may be spoken of as frank and open, the arrogant as magnificent and dignified;
those in excess as possessing the corresponding virtue,6 the fool-hardy as courageous, the recklessly extravagant as liberal. For most people will think so, and at the same time a fallacious argument may be drawn from the motive; for if a man risks his life when there is no necessity, much more will he be thought likely to do so when it is honorable; and if he is lavish to all comers, the more so will he be to his friends; for the height of virtue is to do good to all.  We ought also to consider in whose presence we praise, for, as Socrates said, it is not difficult to praise Athenians among Athenians.7 We ought also to speak of what is esteemed among the particular audience, Scythians, Lacedaemonians, or philosophers,8 as actually existing there. And, generally speaking, that which is esteemed should be classed as noble, since there seems to be a close resemblance between the two.9  Again, all such actions as are in accord with what is fitting are noble; if, for instance, they are worthy of a man's ancestors or of his own previous achievements; for to obtain additional honor is noble and conduces to happiness. Also, if the tendency of what is done is better and nobler, and goes beyond what is to be expected; for instance, if a man is moderate in good fortune and stout-hearted in adversity, or if, when he becomes greater, he is better and more forgiving. Such was the phrase of Iphicrates, “Look what I started from !”10 and of the Olympian victor: “ Formerly, with a rough basket on my shoulders, I used to carry fish from Argos to Tegea.11
and of Simonides: “ Daughter, wife, and sister of tyrants.12
”  Since praise is founded on actions, and acting according to moral purpose is characteristic of the worthy man, we must endeavor to show that a man is acting in that manner, and it is useful that it should appear that he has done so on several occasions. For this reason also one must assume that accidents and strokes of good fortune are due to moral purpose; for if a number of similar examples can be adduced, they will be thought to be signs of virtue and moral purpose.  Now praise is language that sets forth greatness of virtue; hence it is necessary to show that a man's actions are virtuous. But encomium deals with achievements—all attendant circumstances, such as noble birth and education, merely conduce to persuasion; for it is probable that virtuous parents will have virtuous offspring and that a man will turn out as he has been brought up. Hence we pronounce an encomium upon those who have achieved something. Achievements, in fact, are signs of moral habit; for we should praise even a man who had not achieved anything, if we felt confident that he was likely to do so.  Blessing and felicitation are identical with each other, but are not the same as praise and encomium, which, as virtue is contained in happiness, are contained in felicitation.  Praise and counsels have a common aspect; for what you might suggest in counseling becomes encomium by a change in the phrase.
 Accordingly, when we know what we ought to do and the qualities we ought to possess, we ought to make a change in the phrase and turn it, employing this knowledge as a suggestion. For instance, the statement that “one ought not to pride oneself on goods which are due to fortune, but on those which are due to oneself alone,” when expressed in this way, has the force of a suggestion; but expressed thus, “he was proud, not of goods which were due to fortune, but of those which were due to himself alone,” it becomes praise. Accordingly, if you desire to praise, look what you would suggest; if you desire to suggest, look what you would praise.  The form of the expression will necessarily be opposite, when the prohibitive has been changed into the non-prohibitive.13  We must also employ many of the means of amplification; for instance, if a man has done anything alone, or first, or with a few, or has been chiefly responsible for it; all these circumstances render an action noble. Similarly, topics derived from times and seasons, that is to say, if our expectation is surpassed. Also, if a man has often been successful in the same thing; for this is of importance and would appear to be due to the man himself, and not to be the result of chance. And if it is for his sake that distinctions which are an encouragement or honor have been invented and established; and if he was the first on whom an encomium was pronounced, as Hippolochus,14 or to whom a statue was set up in the market-place, as to Harmodius and Aristogiton.15 And similarly in opposite cases. If he does not furnish you with enough material in himself,
you must compare him with others, as Isocrates used to do, because of his inexperience16 of forensic speaking. And you must compare him with illustrious personages, for it affords ground for amplification and is noble, if he can be proved better than men of worth.  Amplification is with good reason ranked as one of the forms of praise, since it consists in superiority, and superiority is one of the things that are noble. That is why, if you cannot compare him with illustrious personages, you must compare him with ordinary persons, since superiority is thought to indicate virtue.  Speaking generally, of the topics common to all rhetorical arguments, amplification is most suitable for epideictic speakers, whose subject is actions which are not disputed, so that all that remains to be done is to attribute beauty and importance to them. Examples are most suitable for deliberative speakers, for it is by examination of the past that we divine and judge the future. Enthymemes are most suitable for forensic speakers, because the past, by reason of its obscurity, above all lends itself to the investigation of causes and to demonstrative proof.  Such are nearly all the materials of praise or blame, the things which those who praise or blame should keep in view, and the sources of encomia and invective; for when these are known their contraries are obvious, since blame is derived from the contrary things.
1 Or, “a faculty of doing many and great benefits to all men in all cases” （Jebb）.
3 i.e. the causes and results of virtue （Cope）; or, the noble and the disgraceful （Jebb）.
4 Frag. 55 （P.L.G. 3.）.
5 Frag. 28 （P.L.G. 3.）.
6 Those whose qualities are extreme may be described as possessing the virtues of which these are the excess.
8 Thus, the Scythians may be assumed to be brave and great hunters; the Spartans hardy, courageous, and brief in speech; the Athenians fond of literature—and they should be praised accordingly.
10 Cp. 7.32 above.
11 Frag. 111 （P.L.G. 3.）.
13 In the first sentence, the statement is imperative, there is a prohibition; in the second, it is a simple affirmative, implying praise. In the one case there is forbidding, in the other not-forbidding, which are opposites.
14 Nothing more is known of him.
16 Reading ἀσυνήθειαν. He had no legal practice, which would have shown the irrelevancy of comparisons in a law court, whereas in epideictic speeches they are useful. συνήθειαν gives exactly the opposite sense, and must refer to his having written speeches for others to deliver in the courts.
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