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that it is because the one party is in the position of a debtor and the other of a creditor; just as therefore in the case of a loan, whereas the borrower would be glad to have his creditor out of the way, the lender actually watches over his debtor's safety, so it is thought that the conferrer of a benefit wishes the recipient to live in order that he may receive a return, but the recipient is not particularly anxious to make a return. Epicharmus no doubt would say that people who give this explanation are ‘looking at the seamy side’1 of life; but all the same it appears to be not untrue to human nature, for most men have short memories, and are more desirous of receiving benefits than of bestowing them. [2]

But it might be held that the real reason lies deeper,2 and that the case of the creditor is not really a parallel. With him it is not a matter of affection, but only of wishing his debtor's preservation for the sake of recovering his money; whereas a benefactor feels friendship and affection for the recipient of his bounty even though he is not getting anything out of him and is never likely to do so. [3]

The same thing happens with the artist: every artist loves his own handiwork more than that handiwork if it were to come to life would love him.

1 This half-line of verse (Epicharmus doubtless wrote θαμένους) is otherwise unknown.

2 Cf. 8.3.9.

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