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ταῦτα, sc. τὰ δυνατά.—τὰ γενόμενα ἂν καὶ τὰ ῥαδίως γιγνόμενα.] Two kinds of possibilities; ‘things which might’ (ἄν, under certain conditions, possibly difficult) ‘be brought to pass, and those which are easily attained’. The distinction is between ends or things hard and unlikely, and easy and likely, to be attained or obtained. The same distinction of possibilities is found in Cic. de Inv. II 56, 169. (Victorius, who refers to it, quotes only the definition of facilis.) Atque in iis omnibus quae ante dicta sunt, quid fieri et quid facile fieri possit oportet considerare. Facile id dicimus, quod sine magno aut sine ullo labore, sumptu, molestia quam brevissimo tempore confici potest; posse autem fieri quod quamquam laboris, sumptus, molestiae, longinquitatis indiget, atque aut omnes aut plurimas aut maximas causas habet difficultatis, tamen, his susceptis difficultatibus, compleri atque ad exitum perduci potest: an excellent commentary on Aristotle's topic. τὸ γὰρ χαλεπὸν κ.τ.λ.] ‘facility’ is defined by the absence of pain or laborious effort, or by the shortness of the time occupied in doing anything or getting anything done, because difficulty is defined by the opposites. ὁρίζεται ἢ λύπῃ ἢ πλήθει χρόνου] A various reading in several of the earlier Editions is λύπη ἢ πλῆθος. In this case ὁρίζεται is the middle voice, as it usually is in the sense of ‘defining’. ὁρίζεσθαι however, as a passive, is found, though rarely, elsewhere, as Eth. Nic. III 10, 1115 b 23, ὁρίζεται ἕκαστον τῷ τέλει, ib. IX 8, 1168 b 5, πάνθ᾽ οἷς ὁ φίλος ὁρίζεται, Pol. VII (VI) 2, 1317 b 39, ὀλιγαρχία γένει καὶ πλουτῷ καὶ παιδείᾳ ὁρίζεται, Theophrast. Hist. Plant. I 1, 6, ἡ μὲν ἀνομοιότης ὁρίζεται σχήματι χρώματι κ.τ.λ. It is not to be included in the class of irregular passives formed from neuter verbs, the act of ὁρίζειν being transitive. καὶ ἐὰν ὡς βούλονται] sc. γένηταί τι (or τὰ πράγματα) ἀγαθὸν ἔσται, ‘anything that turns out as they desire’; any result, either of their own acts, or of the course of events, such as they like; [Gaisford says, ‘nescio an in ὡς ἂν βούλωνται’ (a various reading) ‘lateant vestigia melioris scripturae, ὅσ᾽ ἂν βούλωνται.’ This is not so suitable to what follows.] ‘but what they do like is either no evil at all, or less than the good (ensuing): and this (the latter of the two preceding) will be the case, when (for instance) the penalty (which is attached to some illicit gain or advantage) is either unfelt (λανθάνῃ, escapes your notice, not the notice of others,) or trifling’. In both of these cases the profit, or good, is greater than the loss, or evil.
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