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of a brave man, for example not to desert one's post, not to run away, not to throw down one's arms; that of a temperate man, for example not to commit adultery or outrage; that of a gentle man, for example not to strike, not to speak evil; and so with actions exemplifying the rest of the virtues and vices, commanding these and forbidding those—rightly if the law has been rightly enacted, not so well if it has been made at random.1. [15]

Justice then in this sense is perfect Virtue, though with a qualification, namely that it is displayed towards others. This is why Justice is often thought to be the chief of the virtues, and more sublime ‘or than the evening or the morning star’1; and we have the proverb— “ In Justice is all Virtue found in sum.2

” And Justice is perfect virtue because it is the practice of perfect virtue; and perfect in a special degree,3 because its possessor can practise his virtue towards others and not merely by himself; for there are many who can practise virtue in their own private affairs but cannot do so in their relations with another.

1 According to a scholiast, this is a quotation, slightly altered, from the lost play Melanippe of Euripides (fr. 490 Dindorf).

2 Theog. 147.

3 In the mss. the words ‘in a special degree’ follow ‘perfect’ in the line before.

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