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17. In regard to power, nearly all the characters to which it gives rise are equally clear; for power, compared with wealth, exhibits partly identical, and partly superior characteristics. [2] Thus, the powerful are more ambitious and more manly in character than the rich, since they aim at the performance of deeds which their power gives them the opportunity of carrying out. [3] And they are more energetic; for being obliged to look after their power, they are always on the watch.1 [4] And they are dignified rather than heavily pompous; for their rank renders them more conspicuous, so that they avoid excess; and this dignity is a mild and decent pomposity. And their wrongdoings are never petty, but great.

[5] Good fortune in its divisions2 exhibits characters corresponding to those which have just been mentioned; for those which appear to be the most important kinds of good fortune tend in their direction; further, good fortune furnishes advantages over others in the blessing of children and bodily goods.
[6] Now, although men are more arrogant and thoughtless owing to good fortune, it is accompanied by a most precious quality. Fortunate men stand in a certain relation to the divinity and love the gods, having confidence in them owing to the benefits they have received from fortune. We have spoken3 of the characters associated with different ages and fortunes; the opposite characters to those described, for instance, of the poor, of the unfortunate, and of the weak, are obvious from their opposites.

1 ἐν ἐπιμελείᾳ: “because they are administrators” (Jebb).

2 The three divisions are noble birth, wealth, and power. The meaning is that the highest kinds of good fortune tend or converge to these (i.e., to noble birth, wealth, and power). κατὰ τὰ μόρια might also mean “in part.” Hobbes, in his Brief of the Art of Rhetorick, paraphrases: “the manners of men that prosper, are compounded of the manners of the nobility, the rich, and those that are in power, for to some of these all prosperity appertains.”

3 Book 2.12-14, 15-17.

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