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It does not however, like Liberality, extend to all actions dealing with wealth, but only refers to the spending of wealth; and in this sphere it surpasses Liberality in point of magnitude, for, as its name itself implies, it consists in suitable expenditure on a great scale.2. [2]

But this greatness of scale is relative. An amount of outlay that would be great for a person fitting out a galley for the navy would not be great for one equipping a state pilgrimage. 2. [3] The suitability of the expenditure therefore is relative to the spender himself, and to the occasion or object. At the same time the term magnificent is not applied to one who spends adequate sums on objects of only small or moderate importance, like the man who said ‘Oft gave I alms to homeless wayfarers’1; it denotes someone who spends suitably on great objects. For though the magnificent man is liberal, the liberal man is not necessarily magnificent.2. [4]

The defect corresponding to the magnificent disposition is called Paltriness, and the excess Vulgarity, Want of Taste or the like. The latter vices do not exceed by spending too great an amount on proper objects, but by making a great display on the wrong occasions and in the wrong way. We will however speak of them later.2 2. [5]

The magnificent man is an artist in expenditure: he can discern what is suitable, and spend great sums with good taste.

1 Hom. Od. 17.420; said by Odysseus pretending to be a beggar who formerly was well-to-do.

2 2.20-22.

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