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‘And things (in general) are possible which are the objects of love or desire’—these πάθη, being instinctive and natural, show that the objects of them are attainable, because “nature does nothing in vain”, a constantly recurring principle in our author: οὐθὲν γάρ, ὡς φαμέν, μάτην φύσις ποιεῖ, Pol. I 2, 1253 a 9, εἰ οὖν φύσις μηθὲν μήτε ἀτελὲς. ποιεῖ μήτε μάτην, Ib. c. 8, 1256 b 20, et passim: if the desires could not be satisfied, nature would not have implanted them in us—‘for no one either loves or desires anything impossible for the most part’: the qualification ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ πολύ, is added to allow for the exceptional cases of insane or infatuated passion as that of Pasiphae (referred to by Victorius) or of Pygmalion; or a child's desire to have a star to play with.

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