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[1258a] [1] as therefore the desire for life is unlimited, they also desire without limit the means productive of life. And even those who fix their aim on the good life seek the good life as measured by bodily enjoyments, so that inasmuch as this also seems to be found in the possession of property, all their energies are occupied in the business of getting wealth; and owing to this the second kind of the art of wealth-getting has arisen. For as their enjoyment is in excess, they try to discover the art that is productive of enjoyable excess; and if they cannot procure it by the art of wealth-getting, they try to do so by some other means, employing each of the faculties in an unnatural way. For it is not the function of courage to produce wealth, but to inspire daring; nor is it the function of the military art nor of the medical art, but it belongs to the former to bring victory and to the latter to cause health. Yet these people make all these faculties means for the business of providing wealth, in the belief that wealth is the end and that everything must be directed to the end.

We have therefore discussed both the unnecessary branch of wealth-getting, defining it and also explaining the cause why we require it, and the necessary branch, showing that this branch which has to do with food is different from the unnecessary branch and is by nature a part of household management, not being like that branch unlimited but having a limit. And we can also see the answer to the question raised at the beginning,1 whether [20] the art of wealth-getting belongs to the householder and the statesman, or whether on the contrary supplies ought to be provided already (for just as statesmanship does not create human beings but having received them from nature makes use of them, so also it is necessary for nature to bestow food by bestowing land or sea or something else), and the task of the householder is, starting with these supplies given, to dispose of them in the proper way. For it does not belong to the art of weaving to make fleeces, but to use them, and also to know what sort of fleece is good and suitable or bad and unsuitable. In fact the question might be raised, why the getting of wealth is a part of the household art whereas the art of medicine is not a part of it, although the members of the household ought to be healthy, just as they must be alive or fulfil any of the other essential conditions. But inasmuch as although in a way it does belong to the householder and the ruler to see even to health, yet in a way it does not belong to them but to the physician, so also with regard to wealth, although in a way it is the affair of the house-holder, in a way it is not, but is a matter for the subsidiary art. But best of all, as has been said before, this provision ought to be made in advance by nature. For it is the work of nature to supply nourishment for her offspring, since every creature has for nourishment the residue of the substance from which it springs.2 Hence the business of drawing provision from the fruits of the soil and from animals is natural to all. But, as we said, this art is twofold, one branch being of the nature of trade while the other belongs to the household art; and the latter branch is necessary and in good esteem, but the branch connected with exchange is justly discredited

1 See 3.1.

2 i.e. animals are made of earth and water and live on the products of earth and water.

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    • Walter Leaf, Commentary on the Iliad (1900), 6.68
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