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He is also deficient in confidence; but his excessive fear in face of pain is more apparent. [11] The coward is therefore a despondent person, being afraid of everything; but the courageous man is just the opposite, for confidence belongs to a sanguine temperament. [12]

The coward, the rash man, and the courageous man are therefore concerned with the same objects, but are differently disposed towards them: the two former exceed and fall short, the last keeps the mean and the right disposition. The rash, moreover, are impetuous, and though eager before the danger comes they hang back at the critical moment; whereas the courageous are keen at the time of action but calm beforehand. [13]

As has been said then, Courage is the observance of the mean in relation to things that inspire confidence or fear, in the circumstances stated1; and it is confident and endures2 because it is noble to do so or base not to do so. But to seek death in order to escape from poverty, or the pangs of love, or from pain or sorrow, is not the act of a courageous man, but rather of a coward; for it is weakness to fly from troubles, and the suicide does not endure death because it is noble to do so, but to escape evil.8.

Such is the nature of Courage; but the name is also applied to five divergent types of character.

(1) First, as most closely resembling true Courage comes the citizen's courage.3 Citizen troops appear to endure dangers because of the legal penalties and the reproach attaching to cowardice, and the honors awarded to bravery;

1 See 6.10.

2 The mss. have ‘it chooses and endures.’

3 ‘Political courage’: Plato uses this phrase (Plat. Rep. 430c) of patriotic courage, based on training and ‘right opinion about what is terrible and what is not,’ and in contrast with the undisciplined courage of slaves and brute beasts. Elsewhere, on the other hand, he contrasts ‘popular and citizen virtue’ in general with the philosopher's virtue, which is based on knowledge.

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