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‘And those who don't assume an artificial character in their intercourse with us’; (who are open, sincere, frank, straightforward: this is the social or conversational virtue of ἀλήθεια, Eth. Nic. IV 13, the mean between ἀλαζονεία and εἰρωνεία. ὁ δὲ μέσος αὐθέκαστός τις ὢν ἀληθευτικὸς καὶ τῷ βίῳ καὶ τῷ λόγῳ, τὰ ὑπάρχοντα ὁμολογῶν εἶναι περὶ αὑτόν, καὶ οὔτε μείζω οὔτε ἐλάττω. 1127 a 24. The εἴρων of the Ethics, the self-depreciator—like Socrates—who affects humility, is here ὁ πλαττόμενος of the example); ‘and such are those who are always talking about their own weaknesses and failings’. πλάττειν, properly said of a sculptor, who moulds a clay model, is extended to moulding or fashioning in general, and hence to any artificial production; artificiose fingere: and so here. It is hence applied to the training of the body, σώματα πλάττοντες, Plat. Phaedo 82 D (Heindorf ad loc.), Tim. 88 C, and of the mind, Rep. II 377 C, καὶ πλάττειν τὰς ψυχὰς αὐτῶν πολὺ μᾶλλον ἢ τὰ σώματα ταῖς χερσίν. Ib. V 466 A, of a society; VI 509 D, of general education; Gorg. 483 A, of moral training. ‘For it has been already said that in the company of friends we are not ashamed of any little violation of conventional propriety (§ 23): consequently, if one who is ashamed is no friend, one who is not ashamed in such cases is likely to be a friend’. ‘And those who are not formidable to us, and in whose society we feel confidence; for no one loves one of whom he is afraid’. I Ep. St John iv 18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love,” gives the reverse; no one can fear one whom he perfectly loves1.
1 A striking contrast in the point of view between the Philosopher illustrating a rhetorical topic, and the Christian Apostle illustrating the love of God.
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