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because none of these is able to participate in noble activities. [10] For this cause also children cannot be happy, for they are not old enough to be capable of noble acts; when children are spoken of as happy, it is in compliment to their promise for the future. Happiness, as we said, requires both complete goodness and a complete lifetime. [11] For many reverses and vicissitudes of all sorts occur in the course of life, and it is possible that the most prosperous man may encounter great disasters in his declining years, as the story is told of Priam in the epics; but no one calls a man happy who meets with misfortunes like Priam's, and comes to a miserable end.10.

Are we then to count no other human being happy either, as long as he is alive? Must we obey Solon's warning,1 and ‘look to the end’? [2] And if we are indeed to lay down this rule, can a man really be happy after he is dead? Surely that is an extremely strange notion, especially for us who define happiness as a form of activity! [3] While if on the other hand we refuse to speak of a dead man as happy, and Solon's words do not mean this, but that only when a man is dead can one safely call him blessed as being now beyond the reach of evil and misfortune, this also admits of some dispute; for it is believed that some evil and also some good can befall the dead, just as much as they can happen to the living without

1 See Hdt. 1.30-33. Solon visited Croesus, king of Lydia, and was shown all his treasures, but refused to call him the happiest of mankind until he should have heard that he had ended his life without misfortune; he bade him ‘mark the end of every matter, how it should turn out.’

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