instance, a wedding or the like, and which arouse the interest of the general public, or
of people of position; and also in welcoming foreign guests and in celebrating their
departure, and in the complimentary interchange of presents; for the magnificent man does
not spend money on himself but on public objects, and his gifts have some resemblance to
votive offerings. 2.
also characteristic of the magnificent man to furnish his house in a manner suitable to
his wealth, since a fine house is a sort of distinction; and to prefer spending on
permanent objects, because these are the most noble; 2.
and to spend an amount that is appropriate to the
particular occasion, for the same gifts are not suitable for the gods and for men, and the
same expenditure is not appropriate to a sacrifice and a funeral. In fact, inasmuch as the
greatness of any form of expenditure varies with its particular kind, and, although the
most magnificent expenditure absolutely is great expenditure on a great object, the most
magnificent in a particular case is the amount that is great in that case, 2.
and since the greatness of the
result achieved is not the same as the greatness of the expenditure （for the
finest ball or oil-flask does not cost much or involve a very liberal outlay, though it
makes a magnificent present in the case of a child）, 2.
it follows that it is the mark of the
magnificent man, in expenditure of whatever kind, to produce a magnificent result
（for that is a standard not easily exceeded）, and a result proportionate
to the cost.2.
Such then is the character of the magnificent man. His counterpart on the side of excess,
the vulgar man, exceeds, as has been said, by
spending beyond what is right. He spends a great deal and makes a tasteless display on
unimportant occasions: for instance, he gives a dinner to his club on the scale of a
wedding banquet, and when equipping a chorus at the comedies he brings it on in purple at
its first entrance, as is done at Megara
Moreover, he does all this not from a noble motive but to show off
his wealth, and with the idea that this sort of thing makes people admire him; and he
spends little where he ought to spend much and much where he ought to spend little.
The paltry man on the
other hand will err on the side of deficiency in everything; even when he is spending a
great deal, he will spoil the effect for a trifle, and by hesitating at every stage and
considering how he can spend least, and even so grudging what he spends and always
thinking he is doing things on a greater scale than is necessary. 2.
These dispositions then are vices, but
they do not bring serious discredit, since they are not injurious to others, nor are they
Greatness of Soul,2
as the word itself implies, seems to be related to great
objects; let us first ascertain what sort of objects these are.