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40. For we also give ourselves to bravery, and yet with thrift; and to philosophy, and yet without mollification of the mind. And we use riches rather for opportunities of action than for verbal ostentation, and hold it not a shame to confess poverty but not to have avoided it. [2] Moreover there is in the same men a care both of their own and the public affairs and a sufficient knowledge of state matters even in those that labour with their hands. For we only think one that is utterly ignorant therein to be a man not that meddles with nothing but that is good for nothing. We likewise weigh what we undertake and apprehend it perfectly in our minds, not accounting words for a hindrance of action but that it is rather a hindrance to action to come to it without instruction of words before. [3] For also in this we excel others, daring to undertake as much as any and yet examining what we undertake; whereas with other men ignorance makes them dare, and consideration dastards. And they are most rightly reputed valiant who, though they perfectly apprehend both what is dangerous and what is easy, are never the more thereby diverted from adventuring. Again, we are contrary to most men in matter of bounty. [4] For we purchase our friends not by receiving but by bestowing benefits. And he that bestoweth a good turn is ever the most constant friend because he will not lose the thanks due unto him from him whom he bestowed it on. Whereas the friendship of him that oweth a benefit is dull and flat, as knowing his benefit not to be taken for a favour but for a debt. [5] So that we only do good to others not upon computation of profit but freeness of trust.

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load focus English (Benjamin Jowett, 1881)
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