This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
‘Plainly too these will be accompanied by the opposite feelings also (in addition, καί); for one who feels pain at unmerited ill fortune, will feel either pleasure or no pain at the misfortunes of those who do deserve them (ἐναντίως=ἀξίως); for example, no man of worth would feel pain at the punishment of parricides or murderers, when it befalls them, for at the sufferings of such we should rejoice, as in like manner at the prosperity of such as deserve it: for both (the sufferings of the one and the prosperity of the other) are agreeable to justice and give joy to the good man’ (ὅτε μὲν τὸ ἐπιεικὲς ἐπαινοῦμεν...καὶ...μεταφέρομεν ἀντὶ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ, Eth. Nic. V. 14, 1137 b 1), ‘because (being a good man himself) he must needs hope that what has fallen to the lot of his like, may fall also to his own’. τοὺς πατραλοίας καὶ μιαιφόνους λυπηθείη] Vater explains the accus. After the passive verb by supposing a change of construction, Ar. having intended to write, οὐδεὶς ἂν ἐλεήσει (sic) χρηστός. This is quite unnecessary. The accus. after passive and neuter verbs, indicative of the local seat of any affection, an extension of the cognate accus., is common enough fully to justify the construction of the text. At the same time there is a difference between such an expression as this, and the ordinary case of the local accus., such as ἀλγεῖν τὴν κεφαλήν. The accus. κεφαλήν directly and properly expresses the seat of the affection as in the subject who himself feels the pain: and this is the ordinary case. But in our text the seat of the pain1 is transferred from subject to object, the feeling migrating, as it were, and taking up its temporary residence in the parricides and murderers who are the objects of it. But whatever the true explanation may be, there are at all events several precisely parallel instances— some of which may be found in Matth. Gr. Gr. § 414, and Jelf, Gr. Gr. § 549 c—quite sufficient to defend this particular use of the accus. Comp. for instance Soph. Aj. 136, σὲ μὲν εὖ πράσσοντ᾽ ἐπιχαίρω. Eur. Hippol. 1355, τοὺς γὰρ εὐσεβεῖς θεοὶ θνήσκοντας οὐ χαίρουσιν, where the dying are just as much the objects of the joy (or the absence of it) as the murderers are of the pain in the passage before us. Similarly αἰσχύνεσθαι, (frequent in the Rhet. and elsewhere,) as in Eur. Ion 1074, where αἰσχύνομαι τὸν πολύυμνον θεόν, is to feel awe in the presence of the god; who is the object of this feeling of shame, just as the murderers are of the painful feeling. Victorius thinks that the prepos. διά is understood, ‘as it often is in the Attic writers, such as Thucydides, Lysias, Aristophanes’! He contents himself however with the general assertion, and quotes no example.
1 It is in fact not the pain, but the absence of it, that is here in question: but as this would make nonsense of the illustration, nonentities having no local habitation, I must be allowed to substitute the positive for the negative conception.
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.