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some men going too far in getting, while others fall short in giving. 1. [39] The characters described by such names as niggardly, close-fisted, and stingy all fall short in giving, but they do not covet the goods of others nor wish to take them. With some of them this is due to an honorable motive of a sort, namely a shrinking from base conduct—since some persons are thought, or at all events profess, to be careful of their money because they wish to avoid being forced at some time or other to do something base; to this class belong the skinflint1 and similar characters, who get their names from an excessive reluctance to give. But some keep their hands off their neighbors' goods from fear; they calculate that it is not easy to take what belongs to others without others taking what belongs to oneself, and so they ‘prefer (as they say) neither to take nor to give.’ 1. [40] The other sort of people are those who exceed in respect of getting, taking from every source and all they can; such are those who follow degrading trades, brothel-keepers and all people of that sort, and petty usurers who lend money in small sums at a high rate of interest;

1 κυμινοπρίστης means literally ‘one who saws cumminseed in half.’

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