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‘And cases in which the offence, and the profit or result of it, is a substantial, solid gain, and the penalty mere disgrace’.—λήμματα refers perhaps to pecuniary gain (lucrum). ‘And the reverse; where the (legal) crime tends to any kind of praise (is directed to, as its meed or reward; i. e. where what is a crime in one point of view, is likely to meet with praise in another), as, for instance, if the crime was accompanied by vengeance for father or mother, as it was in Zeno's case; whilst the penalties are all directed against a man's purse or person, as fine, imprisonment, banishment, or anything else of the same kind (not affecting his character or reputation): for both circumstances and both dispositions may be motives to wrong acts, only not in the same persons and the same characters’. Men of different characters are influenced by different motives in the commission of crime. Some care more for honour and glory and reputation than for their money and personal ease and comfort, and these, like Zeno, will be ready to commit what may be construed as a crime and render them liable to punishment, provided it be attended with something which leads to praise: the others, who value their personal wellbeing more than their good name, will be induced rather to do wrong acts which lead to substantial gain, and affect only their reputation. The one are virtuous, though they err; the others, sordid, mean, and vicious. Of Zeno's case, here referred to, nothing is known, and we are reduced to conjecture. Of the two best known of this name, Zeno of Citium, the founder of the Stoic sect, whose death is placed in B. C. 263 (Clint. Fast. Hell.), would, if alive, have been too young when Aristotle wrote the Rhetoric to have attracted public attention: it is just possible that the other, Zeno the logician, of Elea, Parmenides' follower, may be the person here meant. Of this Zeno we learn from Plutarch, Diogenes Laertius, and Diodorus (see the reff. in Brandis' Art. in Smith's Dict. Biogr.) that he joined in an attempt to rid his native country of her tyrant: and if the attempt was successful (of which we are not informed) and the tyrant slain, Zeno may possibly have mixed personal considerations with his public and patriotic motives, just as Harmodius and Aristogeiton did, as Aristotle tells us in the Politics (VIII (V) 10), in their attack upon the Athenian tyrant. Only it seems unlikely that if this were the true explanation of the allusion that Aristotle would have spoken of tyrannicide as an ἀδίκημα, a ‘wrong’, either legal or moral: and besides this, the act itself, as well as the attendant circumstance, would have been regarded as praiseworthy. πλήν] ‘only’, an exception or reservation; see note on I 1. 14, p. 26.
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