previous next

‘And borrowing when it will look like begging, to ask a favour under the guise of a loan (begging is a sign of impudence); or begging when it will bear the appearance of asking for a return’ (of a favour: the shamelessness of this consists in the pretence that you have a claim upon the person from whom you are in reality begging: a favour, even supposing that your claim is well founded, ought never to be conferred from any expectation of a return: comp. I 9. 16, and 19, also II 4. 2, on the unselfishness of friendship), ‘and asking for a return (repayment or compensation) when it will have the appearance of begging’. (If you have really done the other a favour, and so have a claim to compensation, still you must not put it in such a way as to seem to beg for it; begging is a sign of impudence.) The ‘borrowing’ propensities of the ἀναίσχυντος appear in Theophr. Char. θ́, ὃν ἀποστερεῖ, πρὸς τοῦτον ἀπελθὼν δανείζεσθαι: and also near the end. Victorius interprets the three cases differently. He understands the δόξει of the other party in the transaction; the first case is ‘to anticipate the other by asking for a loan, when you fancy he is going to beg of you; the second is that of the poorer party who begs when the other is going to demand repayment, and so stops his mouth; the third is that of the richer of the two, who has often assisted the other on former occasions, and being tired of lending him money, when the other comes to renew his solicitations stops his mouth by asking for repayment. This I allow to be just as good, perhaps better, in point of sense, certainly more amusing, than my own interpretation: but as far as I am able to judge, the latter is more naturally suggested by the Greek, and more in accordance with precedent, as collected from the language of the previous topics of these chapters on the πάθη. The first of these three, according to Victorius's interpretation, is well illustrated by Timon of Athens, III 2. 49, What a wicked beast was I to disfurnish myself against such a good time...I was sending to use Lord Timon myself, &c.

‘And to praise (your friend, from whom you want to get money) in order to induce him to suppose that you are begging, and after a failure, repulse, rebuff, to go on all the same’—this is the shamelessness of importunity—‘for all these are signs of illiberality or meanness’.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: