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[1231a] [1] e.g. harmonious sound, or beauty; for clearly they are not affected in any degree worth speaking of by the mere sight of beautiful objects or by listening to musical sounds, except possibly in the case of some miraculous occurrences. Nor yet are they sensitive to good or bad smells, although it is true that all their senses are keener than man's; but even the smells they enjoy are those that have agreeable associations, and are not intrinsically agreeable. By smells not intrinsically agreeable I mean those that we enjoy because of either anticipation or recollection, for example the smell of things to eat or drink, for we enjoy these scents on account of a different pleasure, that of eating or drinking; by intrinsically agreeable I mean scents such as those of flowers (this is the reason of Stratonicus's1 neat remark that the scent of flowers is beautiful but that of things to eat and drink sweet). For even the pleasures of taste are not all attractive to animals, nor are those perceived with the tip of the tongue, but those perceived by the throat, the sensation of which seems more like touch than taste; so that gourmands do not pray that they may have a long tongue but a crane's gullet, like Philoxenus son of Eryxis.2 It follows that broadly speaking profligacy must be considered to be related to the objects of touch, and likewise it is with pleasures of that sort that the profligate is concerned; [20] for tippling and gluttony and lechery and gormandizing and the like all have to do with the sensations specified, and these are the departments into which profligacy is divided. But nobody is called profligate if he exceeds in regard to the pleasures of sight or hearing or smell; those errors we criticize without severe rebuke, and generally all the things included under the term 'lack of self-control': the uncontrolled are not profligate, yet they are not temperate.

Therefore the person of such a character as to be deficient in all the enjoyments which practically everybody must share and must enjoy, is insensitive (or whatever the proper term is), and he that exceeds in them is profligate. For all people by nature enjoy these things, and conceive desires for them, without being or being called profligate, for they do not exceed by feeling more joy than they ought when they get them nor more pain than they ought when they do not get them; nor yet are they unfeeling,3 for they do not fall short in feeling joy or pain, but rather exceed.

And since there are excess and deficiency in regard to these things, it is clear that there is also a middle state, and that this state of character is the best one, and is the opposite of both the others. Hence if temperance is the best state of character in relation to the things with which the profligate is concerned, the middle state in regard to the pleasant objects of sense mentioned will be Temperance, being a middle state between profligacy and insensitiveness: the excess will be Profligacy,

1 A contemporary musician, a number of whose smart sayings are recorded by Athenaeus 8.347f-352d.

2 Mr. Hospitable, son of Mistress Belch—presumably a character in comedy.

3 ἀνάλγητοι is thrown in as a possible synonym for ἀναίσθητοι, see 15.

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