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9. Now what is called indignation1 is the antithesis to pity; for the being pained at undeserved good fortune is in a manner contrary to being pained at undeserved bad fortune and arises from the same character. And both emotions show good character, [2] for if we sympathize with and pity those who suffer undeservedly, we ought to be indignant with those who prosper undeservedly; for that which happens beyond a man's deserts is unjust, wherefore we attribute this feeling even to gods. [3] It would seem that envy also is similarly opposed to pity, as being akin to or identical with indignation, although it is really different; envy also is indeed a disturbing pain and directed against good fortune, but not that of one who does not deserve it, but of one who is our equal and
like. Now, all who feel envy and indignation must have this in common, that they are disturbed, not because they think that any harm will happen to themselves, but on account of their neighbor; for it will cease to be indignation and envy, but will be fear, if the pain and disturbance arise from the idea that harm may come to themselves from another's good fortune. [4] And it is evident that these feelings will be accompanied by opposite feelings; for he who is pained at the sight of those who are undeservedly unfortunate will rejoice or will at least not be pained at the sight of those who are deservedly so; for instance, no good man would be pained at seeing parricides or assassins punished; we should rather rejoice at their lot, and at that of men who are deservedly fortunate; for both these2 are just and cause the worthy man to rejoice, because he cannot help hoping that what has happened to his like may also happen to himself. [5] And all these feelings arise from the same character and their contraries from the contrary; for he who is malicious is also envious,
since, if the envious man is pained at another's possession or acquisition of good fortune, he is bound to rejoice at the destruction or non-acquisition of the same. Wherefore all these emotions are a hindrance to pity, although they differ for the reasons stated; so that they are all equally useful for preventing any feeling of pity.

[6] Let us then first speak of indignation, the persons with whom men feel indignant, for what reasons, and in what frame of mind; and then proceed to the rest of the emotions. [7] What we have just said will make matters clear. For if indignation is being pained at the sight of good fortune that is apparently undeserved, in the first place it is clear that it is not possible to feel indignation at all good things; [8] for no one will be indignant with a man who is just or courageous, or may acquire any virtue (for one does not feel pity in the case of opposites of those qualities),3 but men are indignant at wealth, power, in a word, at all the advantages of which good men are worthy. [And those who possess natural advantages, such as noble birth, beauty, and all such things.]4 [9] And since that which is old seems closely to resemble that which is natural, it follows that, if two parties have the same good, men are more indignant with the one who has recently acquired it and owes his prosperity to it; for the newly rich cause more annoyance than those who have long possessed or inherited wealth. The same applies to offices of state,
power, numerous friends, virtuous children, and any other advantages of the kind. And if these advantages bring them some other advantage, men are equally indignant; for in this case also the newly rich who attain to office owing to their wealth cause more annoyance than those who have long been wealthy; and similarly in all other cases of the same kind. [10] The reason is that the latter seem to possess what belongs to them, the former not; for that which all along shows itself in the same light suggests a reality, so that the former seem to possess what is not theirs.5 [11] And since every kind of good is not suitable to the first comer, but a certain proportion and suitability are necessary (as for instance beautiful weapons are not suitable to the just but to the courageous man, and distinguished marriages not to the newly rich but to the nobly born), if a virtuous man does not obtain what is suitable to him, we feel indignant. Similarly, if the inferior contends with the superior, especially among those engaged in the same pursuit,—whence the saying of the poet, “ He avoided battle with Ajax, son of Telamon,6 for Zeus was indignant with him, when he would fight with a better man;


or, if the pursuit is not the same, wherever the inferior contends with the superior in anything whatever, as for instance, the musician with the just man; for justice is better than music.

From this it is clear, then, with whom men are indignant and for what reasons; they are these or of such a kind. [12] Men are prone to indignation, first, if they happen to deserve or possess the greatest advantages, for it is not just that those who do not resemble them should be deemed worthy of the same advantages; [13] secondly, if they happen to be virtuous and worthy,7 for they both judge correctly and hate what is unjust. [14] And those who are ambitious and long for certain positions, especially if they are those which others, although unworthy, have obtained.8 [15] And, in general, those who think themselves worthy of advantages of which they consider others unworthy, are inclined to be indignant with the latter and because of these advantages. This is why the servile and worthless and unambitious are not inclined to indignation; for there is nothing of which they think themselves worthy. [16] It is evident from this what kind of men they are whose ill fortunes, calamities, and lack of success must make us rejoice or at least feel no pain; for the opposites are clear from what has been said. If then the speaker puts the judges into such a frame of mind and proves that
those who claim our pity (and the reasons why they do so) are unworthy to obtain it and deserve that it should be refused them, then pity will be impossible.

1 νεμεσᾶν: “the nobler brother of envy” (Nietzsche).

2 There is justice both in the punishment of the parricide and in the deserved good fortune of others. The conclusion must refer to the latter; if his like is fortunate, he hopes he may be.

3 Because it is a man's own fault, and pity is only felt for what is undeserved.

4 The first part of the sentence is clear: men are indignant when what good men deserve is possessed by those who are not good. The literal translation o the text as it stands is: “Men are indignant . . . at all the advantages of which good men and those who possess natural advantages are worthy”; but this cannot be right, since there is nothing in natural advantages to arouse moral indignation, there is no question of their being deserved or undeserved. Something may have fallen out like “but they will not be indignant with those who possess natural advantages.” Roemer (Rhein. Mus. 39 p. 504) suggests οὐδ᾽ εἰ τὰ φύσει ἔχουσιν ἀγαθά (understanding νεμεσήσει τούτοις).

5 δοκεῖν is a stronger word than φαίνεσθαι, indicating an intellectual operation as opposed to an impression received through the senses. The idea is that where anything has been so long in a person's possession, it has come to he regarded as his by right.

6 Hom. Il. 11.542. Only the first verse is given in the received text of Homer; the second is not found in any of the mss. The reference is to Cebriones, a son of Priam slain by Patroclus.

7 It has been suggested to insert μὴ before τυγχάνωσι: “if, although virtuous and worthy, they do not happen to possess such advantages.”

8 Or, “of which others happen to be unworthy.”

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