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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,’1 but by the prospect of a meal. [8]

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. [9] 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. [10] This is why a certain gourmand2 wished that his throat might be longer than a crane's, showing that his pleasure lay in the sensation of contact.

1 Hom. Il. 3.24

2 Apparently a character of comedy, though later writers speak of him as a real person. Some mss. here insert his name, ‘Hospitable, the son of Belch,’ cf. Aristot. Eud. Eth. 1231a 16, where the story recurs, and Aristoph. Frogs 934.

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