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[9] Other ethical indications are the accompanying peculiarities of each individual character; for instance, “He was talking and walking on at the same time,” which indicates effrontery and boorishness. Nor should we speak as if from the intellect, after the manner of present-day orators; but from moral purpose: “But I wished it, and I preferred it; and even if I profited nothing, it is better.” The first statement indicates prudence, the second virtue; for prudence consists in the pursuit of what is useful, virtue in that of what is honorable. If anything of the kind seems incredible, then the reason must be added; of this Sophocles gives an example, where his Antigone says that she cared more for her brother than for her husband or children; for the latter can be replaced after they are gone, “ but when father and mother are in the grave, no brother can ever be born.1

” If you have no reason, you should at least say that you are aware that what you assert is incredible, but that it is your nature; for no one believes that a man ever does anything of his own free will except from motives of self-interest.2

1 Soph. Ant. 911-912, where the mss. have κεκευθότοιν instead of Aristotle's βεβηκότων.

2 Whereas this man makes his temperament responsible for the strange things he does; he is built that way and cannot help it.

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