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‘So are those that have the power of doing wrong, to those who have the capacity of (are particularly liable, or exposed to) being wronged; for, for the most part, men do wrong whenever they can’. With the doctrine of man's fallen nature we have here of course nothing to do. But the imperfection and frailty of man, his weaknesses and liability to error, are recognised by the popular philosophy of the multitude and confirmed by the proverbs that convey it, οἱ πλείους κακοί, errare humanum est, and the like. Compare the observations on equity, the merciful or indulgent consideration of these human infirmities, in I 13. 15—17, and the ordinary language on the subject illustrated in the note on the αἰτίαι ἀνθρωπικαί, I 2. 7—all of which belongs properly to Rhetoric. Victorius quotes Arist. Plut. 362, ὡς οὐδὲν ἀτεχνῶς ὑγιές ἐστιν οὐδενός, ἀλλ᾽ εἰσὶ τοῦ κέρδους ἅπαντες ἥττονες. Plato seems to be nearer the truth on this point, οὕτως ἂν ἡγήσατο, τοὺς μὲν χρηστοὺς καὶ πονηροὺς σφόδρα ὀλίγους εἶναι ἑκατέρους, τοὺς δὲ μεταξὺ πλείστους. ‘And those who have already been wronged, or think they are wronged at the time; for these are always on the watch for an opportunity’ (of avenging the wrong received). ‘And those that have already done a wrong, if they have the power (of doing an injury), are to be dreaded, because they are afraid of retaliation (τὸ ἀντιπεπονθός, Eth. N. V 8, init.); for it was previously laid down that anything of that kind is to be feared’. § 6, καὶ φόβος τῶν δυναμένων τι ποιῆσαι. Proprium humani ingenii est odisse quem laeseris, Tacit. Agric. c. 42. Seneca, de Ira, II 23, Hoc habent pessimum animi magna fortuna insolentes: quos laeserunt et oderunt (Lipsius ad locum). Ennius ap. Cic. de Off. II 7, Quem me<*>uunt oderunt; quem quisque odit periisse expetit.
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