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10. It is equally clear for what reason, and of whom, and in what frame of mind, men are envious, if envy is a kind of pain at the sight of good fortune in regard to the goods mentioned; in the case of those like themselves; and not for the sake of a man getting anything, but because of others possessing it. For those men will be envious who have, or seem to have, others “like” them. [2] I mean like in birth, relationship, age, moral habit, reputation, and possessions. And those will be envious who possess all but one of these advantages1; that is why those who attempt great things and succeed are envious, because they think that every one is trying to deprive them of their own. [3] And those who are honored for some special reason, especially for wisdom or happiness. And the ambitious are more envious than the unambitious. And those who are wise in their own conceit, for they are ambitious of a reputation for wisdom; and, in general, those who wish to be distinguished in anything are envious in regard to it. And the little-minded, because everything appears to them to be great.

[4] The advantages which excite envy have already been stated.
Nearly all the actions or possessions which make men desire glory or honor and long for fame, and the favors of fortune, create envy, especially when men long for them themselves, or think that they have a right to them, or the possession of which makes them slightly superior or slightly inferior.

[5] And it is evident whom men envy, for it has just been stated by implication. They envy those who are near them in time, place, age, and reputation, whence it was said, “ Kinship knows how to envy also;2

” and those with whom they are in rivalry, who are those just spoken of; for no man tries to rival those who lived ten thousand years ago, or are about to be born, or are already dead; nor those who live near the Pillars of Hercules;3 nor those who, in his own opinion or in that of others, are either far inferior or superior to him; and the people and things which one envies are on the same footing.4 [6] And since men strive for honor with those who are competitors, or rivals in love, in short, with those who aim at the same things, they are bound to feel most envious of these; whence the saying, “ Potter [being jealous] of potter.5

” [7] And those who have succeeded with difficulty or have failed envy those whose success has been rapid. [8] And those whose possessions or successes are a reproach to themselves, and these, too, are those near or like them; for it is clear that it is their own fault
that they do not obtain the same advantage, so that this pains and causes envy. [9] And those who either have or have acquired what was naturally theirs or what they had once acquired; this is why an older man is envious of a younger one. [10] Those who have spent much envy those who have only spent little to obtain the same thing. [11] And it is clear at what things and persons the envious rejoice, and in what frame of mind; for, as when they do not possess certain things, they are pained, so when they do possess them, they will rejoice in the opposite circumstances.6 So that if the judges are brought into that frame of mind, and those who claim their pity or any other boon are such as we have stated, it is plain that they will not obtain pity from those with whom the decision rests.

1 If some one else possesses the one thing which they think necessary to complete their happiness, they are envious of him, because they consider it ought to be theirs.

2 According to the scholiast, from Aeschylus.

3 Two rocks at the east end of the Straits of Gibraltar, supposed to be the limit westwards of the ancient world.

4 That is, no one will attempt to compete with them in their special branch of study. Roemer reads καὶ πρὸς τοὺς περὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα, translated by Jebb as if there were a full stop at ὑπερέχειν. “In like manner we vie with those engaged in such or such pursuits.”

5 2.4.21.

6 “The same state of mind which is absent in the painful feeling will be present in the joy excited by the opposite occasions,” meaning that, if one set of circumstances produces pain, the opposite will produce pleasure (Cope). Or, omitting οὐκ before ἔχοντες, “For in the same frame of mind as they are pained (at another's good fortune) they will rejoice in the contrary state of things” (at another's bad fortune).

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