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‘By like or similar I mean, those who are of the same race (or are alike in stock), of the same family (relatives), alike in age, in states’, mental and bodily (virtues of all kinds, accomplishments, acquirements, and excellences of mind and body, when developed, confirmed and permanent are ἕξεις: qui artibus scientiis et huiusmodi rebus pares sunt, Victorius: this may be included in the other, more general, meaning), ‘in reputation, in property or possessions’ (of any kind, patrimonio ac re familiari, Victorius). This is well illustrated by a passage of Cic. Brutus, c. XLII § 156, quoted by Victorius on § 5. Simul illud gaudeo, quod et aequalitas vestra, et pares honorum gradus, et artium studiorumque finitima vicinitas, tantum abest ab obtrectatione invidiae, quae solet lacerare plerosque, uti ea non modo exulcerare vestram gratiam sed etiam conciliare videatur. In reality envy is not confined, as Aristotle seems to say, to these classes of people as objects; nor even to those with whom we are likely to come into competition; it seems rather that there is no limit, within the circle of humanity, to the objects on which it may be exercised. A man may envy a baby its innocence, its health, its rosy cheeks, or the poorest and meanest his health and strength: the feeling of pain which belongs to envy no doubt proceeds from an involuntary comparison of oneself with another, who has some valuable possession which we happen to want; and the unsatisfied desire, contrasted with the gratification of it in some one else, friend or foe, good or bad, high or low, in a malevolent disposition—not in the wise man, as Socrates has it—breeds the feeling of pain. Aristotle's definition may be thus summed up: envy is a feeling of pain, excited, usually if not always, by the successful competition of a real or supposed rival. ‘Those also’ are disposed to it ‘who (have nearly attained to) want but little of complete satisfaction (of possessing every thing desirable)’. A long and uninterrupted course of success and prosperity, and the attainment of nearly all that is desirable, seems to give them a right to what still remains deficient; and the envy which they would in any case feel of the possession of it by another, gains strength by the contrast with their own deficiency. Here again it is the competition and the comparison of our own condition with that of another, the want and the inferiority, that add a sting to envy. μικροῦ] like ὀλίγου, adv. ‘nearly’, ‘within a trifling distance of’, is a genitive with δέον understood. τὸ (μὴ) if ἐλλείπει is impersonal, as it usually is, is redundant as far as the sense is concerned; if not, τὸ μὴ ὑπάρχειν is its subject. In illustration of the former case, see Hermann ad Aj. 114, ἐπειδὴ τέρψις ἐστί σοι τὸ δρᾷν, who (unnecessarily, I think1 distinguishes two senses of the phrase, and exemplifies it by several instances all taken from Sophocles the great storehouse of Greek idiom. Add these two from prose authors, Dem. de F. L. § 180, p. 392, οὐκ ἄρνησίς ἐστιν αὐτοῖς...τὸ μὴ πράττειν, Plat. Tim. 20 C, πρόφασις τὸ μὴ δρᾷν:(vid. Stallbaum ad loc.), and the present passage. Examples from Thucydides are to be found in Shilleto's note, ad Dem. de F. L. § 92. See also Matth. Gr. Gr. §§ 541, 542. ‘And this is the reason why those who undertake great enterprises— engage in great actions—and the successful are envious: because they think that all such are carrying off what properly belong to themselves’, i. e. the profits, honours, and distinctions to which they are entitled. The difference between this feeling and that of νέμεσις is confined to this, that the latter distinguishes between the deserving and undeserving, the former does not. Comp. II 9. 3.
1 Indeed he allows it himself, qui usus, specie magis quam re, a priore illo diversus est.
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