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[1233b] [1] For instance if a rich man spending money on the wedding of a favorite thinks it fitting for him to have the sort of arrangements that would be fitting when entertaining abstainers,1 he is shabby, while one who entertains guests of that sort after the manner of a wedding feast, if he does not do it for the sake of reputation or to gain an office, resembles the swaggerer; but he that entertains suitably and as reason directs is magnificent, for the fitting is the suitable, as nothing is fitting that is unsuitable. But it must be fitting in each particular, that is, in suitability to the agent and to the recipient and to the occasion—for example, what is fitting at the wedding of a servant is not what is fitting at that of a favorite; and it is fitting for the agent himself, if it is of an amount or quality suitable to him—for example people thought that the mission that Themistocles conducted to Olympia was not fitting for him, because of his former low station, but would have been for Cimon.2 But he who is casual in regard to the question of suitability is not in any of these classes.

Similarly in regard to liberality: a man may be neither liberal nor illiberal.

Generally speaking the other praiseworthy and blameworthy states of character also are excesses or deficiencies or middle states, but in respect of an emotion: for instance, the envious man and the malicious. For—to take the states of character after which they are named— [20] Envy means being pained at people who are deservedly prosperous, while the emotion of the malicious man is itself nameless, but the possessor of it is shown by his feeling joy at undeserved adversities; and midway between them is the righteously indignant man, and what the ancients called Righteous Indignation—feeling pain at undeserved adversities and prosperities and pleasure at those that are deserved; hence the idea that Nemesis is a deity.

Modesty is a middle state between Shamelessness and Bashfulness: the man who pays regard to nobody's opinion is shameless, he who regards everybody's is bashful, he who regards the opinion of those who appear good is modest.

Friendliness is a middle state between Animosity and Flattery; the man who accommodates himself readily to his associates' desires in everything is a flatterer, he who runs counter to them all shows animosity, he who neither falls in with nor resists every pleasure, but falls in with what seems to be the best, is friendly.

Dignity is a middle state between Self-will and Obsequiousness. A man who in his conduct pays no regard at all to another but is contemptuous is self-willed; he who regards another in everything and is inferior to everybody is obsequious; he who regards another in some things but not in others, and is regardful of persons worthy of regard, is dignified.

The truthful and sincere man, called 'downright,'3 is midway between the dissembler and the charlatan. He that wittingly makes a false statement against himself that is depreciatory is a dissembler,

1 i.e. persons who only drink the formal toast ('Here's to Good Luck'), with which the dinner ended.

2 The story of Themistocles at the Olympic festival incurring disapproval by vying with Cimon in the splendor of his equipment and entertainments is told by Plut. Them. 5.

3 The man who calls each thing itself, i.e. what it really is, calls a spade a spade.

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    • Plutarch, Themistocles, 5
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