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‘And high-minded (having lofty thoughts and aspirations) for two reasons: first, because they have not yet been humiliated by (the experience of) life’—their thoughts and aspirations have not yet been checked and lowered by the experience which life gives of the impossibility of realising them—‘but are as yet without experience of the force of circumstances’ (τὰ ἀναγκάζοντα, things that constrain and compel us against our will, control our actions, and thereby check and prevent the carrying out of lofty designs, of high and generous purposes: ‘enforced actions’, says the Rhet. ad Alex. c. 1 § 10, τὰ ἀναγκαῖα, τὰ μὴ ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν ὄντα πράττειν, ἀλλ̓ ὡς ἐξ ἀνάγκης θείας ἢ ἀνθρωπίνης οὕτως ὄντα); ‘and secondly, because highmindedness is characterised by the consciousness of high desert (thinking oneself deserving of great rewards and successes), and this belongs to the sanguine temper’: and therefore may be inferred from § 8. The definition of μεγαλόψυχος, Eth. N. IV 7, sub init., is ὁ μεγάλων αὑτὸν ἀξιῶν ἄξιος ὤν. The two last words, essential to the definition (as may be seen from what immediately follows), are omitted in the Rhetoric as not required for the occasion. The consciousness of exalted merit, which does form a part of the definition, is sufficient here for the purpose aimed at, namely to connect highmindedness with the sanguine temperament, Hor. A. P. 165, sublimis, full of high thoughts and aspirations.
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