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‘All our natural impulses are wants, and of these those especially which are accompanied by pain at the non-attainment (μὴ γιγνομένου) of their object: such are the appetites and desires, as love’. On ὄρεξις see p. 9, note on II 2. 1. The connexion of this remark is with the δεομένῳ of the preceding definition. The feeling (and the consequent act) of benevolence always implies the satisfaction of some want in the recipient of the favour; if he did not want it, it would be no favour. And besides this, the magnitude of the want is a measure of the magnitude of the favour and of the benevolence that prompts it. Aristotle therefore proceeds to notice some of the principal wants, in the satisfaction of which χάρις is manifested in the highest degree. All our natural impulses imply wants—the ὀρέξεις, the ‘conative’ or striving faculties, all aim at some object which they desire to attain. To the ‘impulsive’ element of our nature, τὸ ὀρεκτικόν, belong the appetites and desires such as love (the animal passion). (Besides these the ὄρεξις includes θυμός, and βούλησις ‘the will’.) These appetites and desires, being always accompanied with pain when thwarted or failing to attain their object, are for this reason ‘wants in the highest degree’, μάλιστα δεήσεις.

καὶ αἱ (ἐπιθυμίαι) ἐν ταῖς τοῦ σώματος κακώσεσι καὶ ἐν κινδύνοις (μάλιστα δεήσεις εἰσίν)] ‘Also those (desires) that occur in (belong to) bodily sufferings or injuries (are wants of a high degree): for in fact (this a note on the preceding) every one that is in danger or in pain feels desire’. For ἐπιθυμεῖ λυπούμενος compare supra c. 4 § 3, γιγνομένων ὧν βούλονται χαίρουσι πάντες, τῶν ἐναντίων δὲ λυποῦνται, ὥστε τῆς βουλήσεως σημεῖον αἱ λῦπαι καὶ αἱ ἡδοναί.

κάκωσις, in its ordinary use, and especially in its legal application, denotes a particular kind of injury or suffering, viz. ill-treatment. It also however bears the more general sense, at least three times in Thucydides, II 43, where κάκωσις is a repetition of κακοπραγοῦντες, and implies ill-fortune, disaster, suffering: VII 4, and 82, τοῖς τε τραύμασι καὶ τῇ ἄλλῃ κακώσει, where the sense is unmistakable, and coincides exactly with the use of it here.

‘And therefore it is, that those who stand by (assist or succour, παριστάμενοι) a man in poverty or exile, however slight the service they render, by reason of the magnitude of the want and the occasion, confer a great favour’ (or, ‘are very agreeable, acceptable’. The word seems to include both senses); ‘like the man who lent the mat ἐν Λυκείῳ’. A friend in need is a friend indeed.

I have not attempted to translate the word Λυκείῳ. We do not even know whether it is the name of a man or a place: it might also be the title of a play or a speech, from which the instance was borrowed. Victorius says, ‘historia ignota mihi est;’ Schrader, ‘quis, cui, quando dederit, incertum (rather ignotum) est.’ The meaning is plain enough: it is a case like that of Sir Philip Sidney's cup of cold water, in which circumstances of time and place enormously enhance the value and importance of something which in ordinary circumstances is trifling and worthless [cf. Vol. I. pp. 84, 144].

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