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(for these matters would come under a different virtue1), but of cases where a man is truthful both in speech and conduct when no considerations of honesty come in, from an habitual sincerity of disposition. [8] Such sincerity may be esteemed a moral excellence; for the lover of truth, who is truthful even when nothing depends on it, will a fortiori be truthful when some interest is at stake, since having all along avoided falsehood for its own sake, he will assuredly avoid it when it is morally base; and this is a disposition that we praise. [9] The sincere man will diverge from the truth, if at all, in the direction of understatement rather than exaggeration; since this appears in better taste, as all excess is offensive. [10]

The man who pretends to more merit than he possesses for no ulterior object seems, it is true, to be a person of inferior character, since otherwise he would not take pleasure in falsehood; but he appears to be more foolish than vicious. [11] When, on the other hand, a man exaggerates his own merits to gain some object, if that object is glory or honor he is not very much to be blamed [as is the boaster], but if he boasts to get money or things that fetch money, this is more unseemly. [12] (Boastfulness is not a matter of potential capacity but of deliberate purpose; a man is a boaster if he has a fixed disposition to boast—a boastful character.) Similarly liars are divided into those who like lying for its own sake and those who lie to get reputation or profit. [13] Those then who boast for the sake of reputation pretend to possess such qualities as are praised and admired; those who do so for profit pretend to accomplishments that are useful to their fellows and also can be counterfeited

1 Viz. Justice, Book 5.

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