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[1249a] [1] hence though they are good men (for the things naturally good are good for them), yet they have not nobility, for it is not the case with them that they possess fine things for their own sake and that they purpose fine actions, and not only this, but also that things not fine by nature but good by nature are fine for them. For things are fine when that for which men do them and choose them is fine. Therefore to the noble man the things good by nature are fine; for what is just is fine, and what is according to worth is just, and he is worthy of these things; and what is befitting is fine, and these things befit him—wealth, birth, power. Hence for the noble man the same things are both advantageous and fine; but for the multitude these things do not coincide, for things absolutely good are not also good for them, whereas they are good for the good man; and to the noble man they are also fine, for he performs many fine actions because of them. But he who thinks that one ought to possess the virtues for the sake of external goods does fine things only by accident. Nobility then is perfect goodness.

We have also spoken about the nature of pleasure and the manner in which it is a good, and have said that things pleasant absolutely are also fine and that things good absolutely are also pleasant. Pleasure does not occur except in action; [20] on this account the truly happy man will also live most pleasantly, and it is not without reason that people demand this.

But since a doctor has a certain standard by referring to which he judges the healthy body and the goods unhealthy, and in relation to which each thing up to a certain point ought to be done and is wholesome, but if less is done, or more, it ceases to be wholesome, so in regard to actions and choices of things good by nature but not laudable a virtuous man ought to have a certain standard both of character and of choice and avoidance;

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