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This is an answer to the question πῶς διακείμενοι θαρραλέοι εἰσίν § 16. ‘The feelings and dispositions in ourselves indicative of confidence, are, the opinion which we entertain of great success in our previous undertakings, and of having hitherto been exempt from injury, or if we have often run into danger and escaped’: all of these are apt to make men sanguine as regards the future. Comp. Virg. Aen. I 198, O socii, neque enim ignari sumus ante malorum, O passi graviora, dabit deus his quoque finem. Vos et Scyllaeam rabiem...revocate animos maestumque timorem mittite, forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit...illic fas regna resurgere Troiae. Durate et vosmet rebus servate secundis. Hor. Od. I 7. 30, O fortes, peioraque passi mecum saepe viri, nunc vino pellite curas, cras ingens iterabimus aequor. ‘For there are two things which make men insensible (to danger), either never to have experienced it (from ignorance, which inspires confidence) or to have plenty of helps, resources, means of defence, to resist and overcome it; as in dangers at sea, those who have never had experience of a storm are confident as to the future, and those who have derived from their experience plenty of resources’. What is said here of the inexperience of men at sea tending to confidence seems to be contradicted by the observation in Eth. Nic. III 9, 1115 b 1, οὐχ οὕτω δὲ ὡς οἱ θαλάττιοι: οἱ μὲν γὰρ ἀπεγνώκασι τὴν σωτηπίαν καὶ τὸν θάνατον τὸν τοιοῦτον δυσχεραίνουσιν, οἱ δ᾽ εὐέλπιδές εἰσι παρὰ τὴν ἐμπειρίαν. Victorius thus reconciles the apparently conflicting statements: in the passage of the Ethics the brave men, who have had no experience, do keep up their courage though they despair of safety, and are indignant at such a death as that of drowning; the death which they covet being death on the field of battle: the sailors on the contrary are sanguine by reason of the resources which their experience has taught them. Still the contradiction is not removed by this explanation; for in the Rhetoric the inexperienced are confident, in the Ethics they are in despair, though their courage may not fail. In fact the two cases are not identical, nor intended to be so. In the Ethics the virtue of courage is displayed in the extremest danger, in the other there is no virtue at all; the ignorance of the. danger inspires confidence—not courage—and that is all. The passage of the Rhetoric is explained by another in Magn. Mor. I 21, quoted by Schrader, ἔστι γὰρ καὶ κατ᾽ ἐμπειρίαν τις ἀνδρεῖος, οἷον οἱ στρατιῶται: οὗτοι γὰρ οἴδασι δἰ ἐμπειπίαν, ὅτι ἐν τοιούτῳ τόπῳ ἢ ἐν τοιούτῳ καιρῷ ἢ οὕτως ἔχοντι ἀδύνατόν τι παθεῖν...πάλιν οὖν εἰσιν ἀνδρεῖοι ἐκ τοῦ ἐναντίου τῆς ἐμπειρίας: οἱ γὰρ ἄπειροι τῶν ἀποβησομένων οὐ φοβοῦνται διὰ τὴν ἀπειρίαν. διχῶς γὰρ ἀπαθεῖς] ‘Tritum apud Graecos proverbium a priore horum modorum pendet, quo affirmatur, suave esse bellum inexperto: γλυκὺς ἀπείρῳ πόλεμος.’ Victorius.
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