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which a man of refinement would never say, and some of which he would not even allow to be said to him. The boor is of no use in playful conversation: he contributes nothing and takes offence at everything; [11] yet relaxation and amusement seem to be a necessary element in life. [12]

We have now discussed three modes of observing the mean in our behavior, all of which are concerned with conversation or with common occupations of some sort. They differ in that one is concerned with truthfulness and the others with being pleasant. Of the two that deal with pleasure, one is displayed in our amusements, and the other in the general intercourse of life.9.

Modesty cannot properly be described as a virtue, for it seems to be a feeling rather than a disposition; [2] at least it is defined as a kind of fear of disrepute, and indeed in its effects it is akin to the fear of danger; for people who are ashamed blush, while those in fear of their lives turn pale; both therefore appear to be in a sense bodily affections, and this indicates a feeling rather than a disposition. [3]

The feeling of modesty is not suitable to every age, but only to the young. We think it proper for the young to be modest, because as they live by feeling they often err, and modesty may keep them in check; and we praise young people when they are modest, though no one would praise an older man for being shamefaced, since we think he ought not to do anything of which he need be ashamed. [4] For indeed the virtuous man does not feel shame, if shame is the feeling caused by base actions; [5] since one ought not to do base actions (the distinction between acts really shameful and those reputed to be so is immaterial, since one ought not to do either), and so one never ought to feel shame. [6] Shame is a mark of a base man, and springs from a character capable of doing a shameful act. And it is absurd that, because a man is of such a nature that he is ashamed if he does a shameful act, he should therefore think himself virtuous, since actions to cause shame must be voluntary, but a virtuous man will never voluntarily do a base action. [7] Modesty can only be virtuous conditionally—in the sense that a good man would be ashamed if he were to do so and so; but the virtues are not conditional. And though shamelessness and not shrinking from shameful actions is base, this does not prove that to be ashamed when one a does shameful acts is virtuous— [8] any more than Self-restraint is a virtue, and not rather a mixture of virtue and vice. But this will be explained later.1 Let us now speak of Justice.

1 In Bk. 7.

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