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[3] Not but what it would appear that the end corresponding1 to the virtue of Courage is really pleasant, only its pleasantness is obscured by the attendant circumstances. This is illustrated by the case of athletic contests: to boxers, for example, their end—the object they box for, the wreath and the honors of victory—is pleasant, but the blows they receive must hurt them, being men of flesh and blood, and all the labor of training is painful; and these painful incidentals are so numerous that the final object, being a small thing, appears not to contain any pleasure at all. [4] If then the same is true of Courage, the death or wounds that it may bring will be painful to the courageous man, and he will suffer them unwillingly; but he will endure them because it is noble to do so, or because it is base not to do so. And the more complete his virtue, and the fuller the happiness he has attained, the more pain will death cause him; for to such a man life is worth most, and he stands to lose the greatest goods, and knows that this is so, and this must be painful. But he is none the less courageous on that account, perhaps indeed he is more so, because he prefers glory in war to the greatest prizes of life. [5]

It is not true therefore of every virtue that its active exercise is essentially pleasant, save in so far as it attains its end.2 [6]

No doubt it is possible that such men as these do not make the best professional soldiers, but men who are less courageous, and have nothing of value besides life to lose; for these face danger readily, and

1 Cf. 7.6.

2 This qualifies what was said in 2.3.1.

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