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[4] Now knowledge of one's own interest will certainly be one kind of Prudence; though it is very different from the other kinds, and people think that the man who knows and minds his own business is prudent, and that politicians are busybodies: thus Euripides writes— “ Would that be prudent? when I might have lived
A quiet life, a cipher in the crowd,
Sharing the common fortune. . .
Restless, aspiring, busy men of action. . .

1 For people seek their own good, and suppose that it is right to do so. Hence this belief has caused the word ‘prudent’ to mean those who are wise in their own interest. Yet probably as a matter of fact a man cannot pursue his own welfare without Domestic Economy and even Politics. Moreover, even the proper conduct of one's own affairs is a difficult problem, and requires consideration.

1 From the lost Philoctetes of Euripides, frr. 785, 786 Dindorf. The third line went on ‘with the wisest. . . . For there is naught so foolish as a man! Restless, aspiring, busy men of action We honor and esteem as men of mark. . .’

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