nor do we call men profligate
who feel excessive pain for the loss of fortune or friends.
Temperance therefore has to do with the pleasures of the body. But not with all even of
these; for men who delight in the pleasures of the eye, in colors, forms and paintings,
are not termed either temperate or profligate, although it would be held that these things
also can be enjoyed in the right manner, or too much, or too little.
Similarly with the objects of hearing: no one would term profligate
those who take an excessive pleasure in music, or the theater, nor temperate those who
enjoy them as is right.
Nor yet does Temperance apply to
enjoyment of the sense of smell, unless accidentally1
; we do not call those who are fond of the scent of fruit
or robes or incense profligate, though we may be inclined so to style those who love
perfumes and the smell of savory dishes, for the profligate take pleasure in these odors
because they remind them of the objects of their desires.
One may notice that other persons too like the smell of food when they are hungry; but
to delight in things of this kind is a mark of the profligate, since they are the things
on which the profligate's desires are set.2
Nor do the lower animals derive any pleasure from these senses, except accidentally.3
Hounds do not take pleasure
in scenting hares, but in eating them; the scent merely made them aware of the hare.
The lion does not care about the lowing of the
ox, but about devouring it, though the lowing tells him that the ox is near, and
consequently he appears to take pleasure in the sound. Similarly he is not pleased by the
sight of ‘or stag or mountain goat,’4
but by the prospect of a meal.
Temperance and Profligacy are therefore concerned with those pleasures which man shares
with the lower animals, and which consequently appear slavish and bestial. These are the
pleasures of touch and taste.
But even taste appears to
play but a small part, if any, in Temperance. For taste is concerned with discriminating
flavors, as is done by wine-tasters, and cooks preparing savory dishes; but it is not
exactly the flavors that give pleasure, or at all events not to the profligate: it is
actually enjoying the object that is pleasant, and this is done solely through the sense
of touch, alike in eating and drinking and in what are called the pleasures of sex.
This is why a certain gourmand5
wished that his throat might be longer than a crane's, showing that
his pleasure lay in the sensation of contact.