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‘It is plain too from what sources (or topics) may be derived the materials for depriving (those who have conferred a favour) of (the credit of) this kindly and benevolent feeling, and making them (and their act appear, representing them as) devoid of all such feeling and intention’. This is Victorius' interpretation, and I think more consistent with what follows than that of Schrader, who understands it of the audience, and not of the benefactor; and explains it, “facere ut affectu illo, qui ad gratiam habendam referendamve fertur, vacui fiant auditores.” ἀχάριστος and ἀχάριτος, ‘without grace’, stand in the first instance for ‘unpleasing, disagreeable’,—so in Homer, Theognis, Herodotus— and express the opposite of κεχαρισμένος, supra § 3: and this, with the substitution of the special sense of χάρις as a πάθος for the general sense of grace, beauty, favour, is the meaning given to the words by Aristotle here: ‘without grace’ is here to be understood ‘without this kindly feeling’. The ordinary use of the word for ‘ungrateful’ is founded upon a third sense of χάρις, viz. gratitude. ‘For (we may argue) either that the (boasted) service is, or was, done from motives of self-interest, and this, as we said, (ἦν, by definition, § 2,) is not benevolent feeling, or that the service was an accident of coincidence, or done under constraint, or that it was a payment and not a free gift, whether the party was aware (of his obligation to the other, so Victorius) or not1: for in both cases (whether conscious or unconscious) it was a mere barter or exchange, and therefore again in this respect no benevolence’. συνέπεσεν] σύν, as in σύμπτωμα and συμφόρα, marks the ‘coincidence.’ συνηναγκάσθησαν] The σύν in this compound—compare Lat. cogere, compellere—conveys the notion of bringing close together, squeezing, crowding, and hence of compression, constraint; and thus enforces the ἀνάγκη of the verb with which it is combined. Compare συμπιέζειν and συμπιλεῖν (Plat. Tim.). In illustration of the topic ἀπέδωκαν ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ ἔδωκαν, Victorius very appositely cites the case of Demosthenes and Halonnesus referred to by Aeschines κατὰ Κτησιφῶντος § 83. Ἁλόννησον ἐδίδου (Philip offered to give, make us a present of Halonnesus), ὁ δ̓ (Demosthenes) ἀπηγόρευε μὴ λαμβάνειν, εἰ δίδωσιν ἀλλὰ μὴ ἀποδίδωσιν (if the offer is to be regarded as a free gift instead of a repayment), περὶ συλλαβῶν διαφερόμενος: and (in Athenaeus VI 223 D—224 B) by the orator Cothocides; and the Comic Poets, Antiphanes (ἐν Νεοττίδι), Alexis (ἐν Στρατιώτῃ and ἐν Ἀδελφοῖς), Anaxilas (ἐν Εὐανδρίᾳ), and Timocles (ἐν Ἥρωσιν), who ridicule the objection as a mere verbal quibble. The phrase seems to have passed almost into a proverb. Victorius truly observes, “maioris tamen ponderis res erat quam videbatur, ut ex hoc quoque loco intelligitur.” Demosthenes seems to have advised his Athenians to refuse the offer as a gift, and only to accept it as a repayment of an outstanding obligation. The argument derived from Aristotle's topic when applied to the case would be different. This offer is prompted by no χάρις or kindly feeling, as Philip represents it; for it is no free gift but the mere payment of a debt. Consequently he is ἀχάριστος, and we owe him no χάρις, or gratitude, in return. οὐδ᾽ οὕτως] ‘neither in this way’. ‘Neither in this way’ (i.e. in the two last cases of intentional or even unintentional repayment, included as one under the head of repayment), is it true χάρις, any more than in the two preceding, where the act is (1) not disinterested, or (2) accidental or compulsory.
1 If I understand Aristotle aright, I cannot see how the alternative εἴτε μὴ εἰδότες can be fairly and properly included in this topic; though it might of course be employed by an unscrupulous speaker to delude an unintelligent audience. It seems to me that the forgetfulness or ignorance that anything is due to the person who receives the favour does alter the character of the transaction; that the gift in such a case may be a free gift, and the feeling that prompts it χάρις, disinterested benevolence, and that the τὶ ἀντί τινος does not here fairly apply.
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