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‘And of those who are inclined to gossiping (to telling tales, betraying secrets, publishing, divulging them to their acquaintance in general): because there is no difference (in regard of the effect upon the other) between not thinking (a thing wrong) and not publishing it to the world’. That is, as far as the effect upon the person who has done something wrong is concerned, and the amount of shame which it causes him, it makes no difference whether the other really thinks it wrong, or merely says so, to the world. In no other sense are ‘not thinking’ and ‘not telling’ the same. ‘Tell-tales are, such as have received an injury,—for these are always on the watch, lying in wait (παρά lurking in the neighbourhood) (for an opportunity of retaliation)—and those who are censorious and inclined to evil-speaking in general: for the latter, (supply κακολογοῦσι, or κακῶς λέγουσι,) if they speak evil of the inoffensive or innocent, a fortiori are likely to do so of the offenders or guilty. παρατηρεῖν] infr. III 2. 15. Xen. Mem. III 14. 4, with an evil design, ‘to lie in wait for’, Polyb. XVII 3. 2, ap. Liddell and Scott. Add Arist. Top. Θ 11, 161 a 23, ὅταν ὁ ἀποκρινόμενος τἀναντία τῷ ἐρωτῶντι παρατηρῇ προσεπηρεάζων, of one, who in a dialectical discussion ‘wantonly’ (πρός, in addition to his proper functions, as a work of supererogation) ‘and spitefully or vexatiously (ἐπηρεάζων) lies in wait to catch his opponent’ in some logical trap or other. ‘And those whose occupation or amusement (διατριβή, passe-temps) lies in finding fault with their neighbours, such as the habitually sarcastic (busy mockers, Ps. XXXV. 16), and comic poets or satirists in general: for these are in a sense (in some sort may be considered as) professional evil-speakers, and libellers of their neighbours’. To the readers of Aristophanes, and indeed of Comedy—especially ancient Comedy— in general, this satirical and libellous character, which has become identified with their art (κωμῳδεῖν, Aristoph., Plato, &c.), needs no illustration. Hor. A. P. 281—4. χλευασταῖς] See II 2. 12, and note. II 3. 9. ‘And those with whom we have never before met with a failure (incurred reproach or damage, sustained a repulse, lost credit—explained by ἠδοξηκότες infra); for we are to them as it were objects of admiration and respect’ (διάκεινται, lit. we are to them in such a disposition, or position, attitude, posture)—they have never yet had occasion to find fault with us, we have hitherto not lost caste in their estimation—‘and this is why we feel ashamed in the presence of (are reluctant to refuse) those who ask a favour for the first time, because (on the supposition that) we have never yet lost credit in their eyes (and this respect which they have for us we should be loth to impair)’. ὥσπερ θαυμαζόμενοι] Objects of shame (οὓς αἰσχύνονται) are those before whom men feel ashamed of any offence against virtue or propriety: comp. ἢ αὐτῷ ἢ ὧν φροντίζει, § 3: also §§ 15, 24. ‘And these are either such as have recently conceived the wish to be friends with us—for they have hitherto seen only the best of us—and hence the merit of Euripides’ answer to the Syracusans—or, of acquaintances of long standing, such as know nothing against, know no ill of us’, (are privy to, conscious of, no vice or misconduct in us,) whose good opinion of us is unimpaired. The answer of Euripides to the Syracusans is given—invented say some—by the Scholiast, in these words: Εὐριπίδης πρὸς τοὺς Συρακοσίους πρέσβυς ἀποσταλεὶς καὶ περὶ εἰρήνης καὶ φιλίας δεόμενος, ὡς ἐκεῖνοι ἀνένευον, εἶπεν: ἔδει, ἄνδρες Συρακόσιοι, εἰ καὶ διὰ μηδὲν ἄλλο, ἀλλά γε διὰ τὸ ἄρτι ὑμῶν δέεσθαι, αἰσχύνεσθαι ἡμᾶς ὡς θαυμάζοντας. We know nothing from any other source of Euripides having ever been employed on any other occasion in any public capacity; but as Aeschylus fought at Marathon, and Sophocles was one of the ten generals who conducted the exhibition against Samos under Pericles, there seems to be no a priori objection to the employment of another tragic poet in a similar public service. That Euripides could speak in public we learn from a reference of Aristotle to another answer of his, Rhet. III 15. 8. Nevertheless the objection has been held fatal to the soundness of the reading, and Ruhnken, Hist. Crit. (ap. Buhle), has proposed to substitute Ὑπερίδου for Εὐριπίδου in our text, the one name being constantly confounded by transcribers with the other. Sauppe Orat. Att. Vol. III. p. 216, Fragm. Oratt. XV argues the question, and decides (rightly, I think) in favour of the vulgate. There is in fact no reason whatsoever, except our ignorance, for denying that Euripides could have been sent ambassador to Syracuse. Sauppe thinks that the occasion probably was the negociations carried on between Athens and Sicily from 427—415, previous to the Sicilian expedition. His note ends with an inquiry whether another Euripides, Xenophon's father, Thuc. II 70, 79, may possibly be meant here. The extreme appositeness of the answer to Aristotle's topic, which seems to have suggested the suspicion of manufacture for the special occasion, tells in reality at least as much in favour of its genuineness; it is because it is so appropriate, that Aristotle remembers and quotes it.
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