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those in excess as possessing the corresponding virtue,1 the fool-hardy as courageous, the recklessly extravagant as liberal. For most people will think so, and at the same time a fallacious argument may be drawn from the motive; for if a man risks his life when there is no necessity, much more will he be thought likely to do so when it is honorable; and if he is lavish to all comers, the more so will he be to his friends; for the height of virtue is to do good to all. [30] We ought also to consider in whose presence we praise, for, as Socrates said, it is not difficult to praise Athenians among Athenians.2 We ought also to speak of what is esteemed among the particular audience, Scythians, Lacedaemonians, or philosophers,3 as actually existing there. And, generally speaking, that which is esteemed should be classed as noble, since there seems to be a close resemblance between the two.4 [31] Again, all such actions as are in accord with what is fitting are noble; if, for instance, they are worthy of a man's ancestors or of his own previous achievements; for to obtain additional honor is noble and conduces to happiness. Also, if the tendency of what is done is better and nobler, and goes beyond what is to be expected; for instance, if a man is moderate in good fortune and stout-hearted in adversity, or if, when he becomes greater, he is better and more forgiving. Such was the phrase of Iphicrates, “Look what I started from !”5 and of the Olympian victor: “ Formerly, with a rough basket on my shoulders, I used to carry fish from Argos to Tegea.6

and of Simonides: “ Daughter, wife, and sister of tyrants.7

[32] Since praise is founded on actions, and acting according to moral purpose is characteristic of the worthy man, we must endeavor to show that a man is acting in that manner, and it is useful that it should appear that he has done so on several occasions. For this reason also one must assume that accidents and strokes of good fortune are due to moral purpose; for if a number of similar examples can be adduced, they will be thought to be signs of virtue and moral purpose.

[33] Now praise is language that sets forth greatness of virtue; hence it is necessary to show that a man's actions are virtuous. But encomium deals with achievements—all attendant circumstances, such as noble birth and education, merely conduce to persuasion; for it is probable that virtuous parents will have virtuous offspring and that a man will turn out as he has been brought up. Hence we pronounce an encomium upon those who have achieved something. Achievements, in fact, are signs of moral habit; for we should praise even a man who had not achieved anything, if we felt confident that he was likely to do so. [34] Blessing and felicitation are identical with each other, but are not the same as praise and encomium, which, as virtue is contained in happiness, are contained in felicitation.

[35] Praise and counsels have a common aspect; for what you might suggest in counseling becomes encomium by a change in the phrase.

1 Those whose qualities are extreme may be described as possessing the virtues of which these are the excess.

2 Plat. Menex. 235d.

3 Thus, the Scythians may be assumed to be brave and great hunters; the Spartans hardy, courageous, and brief in speech; the Athenians fond of literature—and they should be praised accordingly.

4 That is, τὸ τίμιον looks as if it were really καλόν, and should be spoken as if it were so.

5 Cp. 7.32 above.

6 Frag. 111 (P.L.G. 3.).

7 Archedice, daughter of Hippias, tyrant of Athens, and wife of Aeantides, son of Hippocles, tyrant of Lampsacus.

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