The Bad Guys: The 25 Most Incorrigible Imposters, Villains, and Killers Ever to Walk the Earth


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By Charles Dickens

It makes no small difference, therefore, whether a man be trained from his youth up in this way or in that, but a great difference, or rather all the difference. We must ask therefore about these acts, and see of what kind they are to be; for, as we said, it is they that determine our habits or character. This is plain to illustrate what we cannot see by what we can see in the case of strength and health. Too much and too little exercise alike destroy strength, and to take too much meat and drink, or to take too little, is equally ruinous to health, but the fitting amount produces and increases and preserves them.

The man who shuns and fears everything and never makes a stand, becomes a coward; while the man who fears nothing at all, but will face anything, becomes foolhardy. This is the case with palpable things like strength. Strength is produced by taking plenty of nourishment and doing plenty of hard work, and the strong man, in turn, has Peters II. And the case is the same with the virtues: by abstaining from pleasure we become temperate, and when we have become temperate we are best able to abstain.

And so with courage: by habituating ourselves to despise danger, and to face it, we become courageous; and when we have become courageous, we are best able to face danger. He who abstains from the pleasures of the body and rejoices in the abstinence is temperate, while he who is vexed at having to abstain is profligate; and again, he who faces danger with pleasure, or, at any rate, without pain, is courageous, but he to whom this is painful is a coward. For moral virtue or excellence is closely concerned with pleasure and pain. It is pleasure that moves us to do what is base, and pain that moves us Peters II.

And therefore, as Plato says, man needs to be so trained from his youth up as to find pleasure and pain in the right objects. This is what sound education means. And hence some people go so far as to define the virtues as a kind of impassive or neutral state of mind. But they err in stating this absolutely, instead of qualifying it by the addition of the right and wrong manner, time, etc.

But the following considerations will throw additional light on the point. There are three kinds of things that move us to choose, and three that move us to avoid them: on the one hand, the beautiful or noble, the advantageous, the pleasant; on the other hand, the ugly or base, the Edition: current; Page: [ 40 ] hurtful, the painful.

Now, the good man is apt to go right, and the bad man to go wrong, about them all, but especially about pleasure: for pleasure is not only common to man with animals, but also accompanies all pursuit or choice; since the noble, and the advantageous also, are pleasant in idea. For this reason too, then, our whole inquiry must be concerned with these matters; since to be pleased and pained in the right or the wrong way has great influence on our actions.

For this reason also, then, both [moral] virtue or excellence and the science of the state must always be concerned with pleasures and pains; for he that behaves rightly with regard to them will be good, and he that behaves badly will be bad. A man may do something grammatical [or write something correctly] by chance, or at the prompting of another person: he will not be grammatical till he not only does something grammatical, but also does it grammatically [or like a grammatical person], i. The products of art have their excellence in themselves, and so it is enough if when produced they are of a certain quality; but in the case of the virtues, a man is not said to act justly or temperately [or like a just or temperate man] if what he does merely be of a certain sort—he must also be in a certain state of mind when he does it; i.

Now, of these conditions, only one, the knowledge, is necessary for the possession of any art; but for the possession of the virtues knowledge is of little or no avail, while the other conditions that result from repeatedly doing what is just and temperate are not a little important, but all-important. This sort of philosophizing will no more produce a healthy habit of mind than this sort of treatment will produce a healthy habit of body.

A quality of the soul is either 1 a passion or emotion, or 2 a power or faculty, or 3 a habit or trained faculty; and so virtue must be one of these Peters II. By 1 a passion or emotion we mean appetite, anger, fear, confidence, envy, joy, love, hate, longing, emulation, pity, or generally that which is accompanied by pleasure or pain; 2 a power or faculty is that in respect of which we are said to be capable of being affected in any of these ways, as, for instance, that in respect of which we are able to be angered or pained or to pity; and 3 a habit or trained faculty is that in respect of which we are well or ill regulated or disposed in the matter of our affections; as, for instance, in the matter of being angered, we are ill Edition: current; Page: [ 43 ] regulated if we are too violent or too slack, but if we are moderate in our anger we are well regulated.

And so with the rest. And further, while nature gives us our powers or faculties, she does not make us either good or bad. This point, however, we have already treated. The excellence of the eye, for instance, makes both the eye and its work good; for it is by the excellence of the eye that we see well. So the proper excellence of the horse makes a horse what he should be, and makes him good at running, and carrying his rider, and standing a charge. By an equal or fair amount I understand a mean amount, or one that lies between excess and deficiency.

By the mean relatively to us I understand that Edition: current; Page: [ 45 ] which is neither too much nor too little for us; and this is not one and the same for all. But the mean relatively to us cannot be found in this way. If ten pounds of food is too much for a given man to eat, and two pounds too little, it does not follow that the trainer will order him six pounds: for that also may perhaps be too much for the man in question, or too little; too little for Milo, too much for the beginner. The same holds true in running and wrestling.

For instance, it is possible to feel fear, confidence, desire, anger, pity, and generally to be affected pleasantly and painfully, either too much or too little, Peters II. And in the same way our outward acts also admit of excess and deficiency, and the mean or due amount. Virtue, then, has to deal with feelings or passions and with outward acts, in which excess is wrong and deficiency also is blamed, but the mean amount is praised and is right—both of which are characteristics of virtue. On this account also, then, excess and deficiency are characteristic of vice, hitting the mean is characteristic of virtue:.

And it is a moderation, firstly, inasmuch as it comes in the middle or mean between two vices, one on the side of excess, the other on the side of defect; Peters II. These and all other like things are blamed as being bad in themselves, and not merely in their excess or deficiency. It is impossible therefore to go right in them; they are always wrong: rightness and wrongness in such things e. For, to put it generally, there cannot be moderation in excess or deficiency, nor excess or deficiency in moderation.

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These particulars then [ i. But both vices exceed and fall short in giving and taking in contrary ways: the prodigal exceeds in spending, but falls short in taking; while the illiberal man exceeds in taking, but falls short in Peters II. For the present we are but giving an outline or summary, and aim at nothing more; we shall afterwards treat these points in greater detail.

A man may have a due desire for honour, and also more or less than a due desire: he that carries this desire to excess is called ambitious, he that has not enough of it is called unambitious, but he that has the due amount has no name. And on this account those who occupy the extremes lay claim to the middle place. And in common parlance, too, the moderate man is sometimes called ambitious and sometimes unambitious, and sometimes the ambitious man is praised and sometimes Peters II.

Why this is we will explain afterwards; for the present we will follow out our plan and enumerate the other types of character. The characters themselves hardly have recognized names, but as the moderate man is here called gentle, we will call his character gentleness; of those who go into extremes, we may take the term wrathful for him who exceeds, with wrathfulness for the vice, and wrathless for him who is deficient, with wrathlessness for his character. They all have to do with intercourse in speech and action, but they differ in that one has to do with the truthfulness of this intercourse, while the other two have to do with its pleasantness—one of the two with pleasantness in matters of amusement, the other with pleasantness in all the relations of Edition: current; Page: [ 51 ] life.

We must therefore speak of these qualities also in order that we may the more plainly see how, in all cases, moderation is praiseworthy, while the extreme courses are neither right nor praiseworthy, but blamable. In these cases also names are for the most part wanting, but we must try, here as elsewhere, to coin names ourselves, in order to make our argument clear and easy to follow. With regard to pleasantness in the other affairs of life, he who makes himself properly pleasant may be called friendly, and his moderation friendliness; he that exceeds may be called obsequious if he have no ulterior motive, but a flatterer if he has an eye to his own advantage; he that is deficient in this respect, and always makes himself disagreeable, may be called a quarrelsome or peevish fellow.

These have to do with feelings of pleasure and pain at what happens to our neighbours. A man is called righteously indignant when he feels pain at the sight of undeserved prosperity, but your envious man goes beyond him and is pained by the sight of any one in prosperity, while the malevolent man is so far from being pained that he actually exults in the misfortunes of his neighbours. As for justice, the term is used in more senses than one; we will, therefore, after disposing of the above questions, distinguish these various senses, and show how each of these kinds of justice is a kind of moderation.

Now, each is in a way opposed to each, for the extreme dispositions are opposed both Edition: current; Page: [ 53 ] to the mean or moderate disposition and to one another, while the moderate disposition is opposed to Peters II. Just as a quantity which is equal to a given quantity is also greater when compared with a less, and less when compared with a greater quantity, so the mean or moderate dispositions exceed as compared with the defective dispositions, and fall short as compared with the excessive dispositions, both in feeling and in action; e.

One is the reason derived from the nature of the matter itself: since one extreme is, in fact, nearer and more similar to the mean, we naturally do not oppose it to the mean so strongly as the other; e. Another reason lies in ourselves: and it is this—those things to which we happen to be more prone by nature appear to be more opposed to the mean: e. Thus any one can be angry—that is quite easy; any one can give money away or spend it: but to do these things to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right object, and in the right manner, is not what everybody can do, and is by no means easy; and that is the reason why right doing is rare and praiseworthy and noble.

And secondly we must consider, each for himself, what we are most prone to—for different natures are inclined to different things—which we may learn by Peters II. And then we must bend ourselves in the opposite direction; for by keeping well away from error we shall fall into the middle course, as we straighten a bent stick by bending it the other way.

But it is a hard task, we must admit, especially in a particular case. It is not easy to determine, for instance, how and with whom one ought to be angry, and upon what grounds, and for how long; for public opinion sometimes praises those who fall short, and calls them gentle, and sometimes applies the term manly to those who show a harsh temper. But it is hardly possible to determine by reasoning how far or to what extent a man must err in order to incur Edition: current; Page: [ 57 ] blame; and indeed matters that fall within the scope of perception never can be so determined.

Such matters lie within the region of particulars, and can only be determined by perception. Peters III. It seems, therefore, that a clear distinction between the voluntary and the involuntary is necessary for Peters III.

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For they are desired or chosen at the time when they are done, and the end or motive of an act is that which is in view at the time. Now, he wills the act at the time; for the cause which sets the limbs going lies in the agent in such cases, and where the cause lies in the agent, it rests with him to do or not to do. Such acts, then, are voluntary, though in themselves [or apart from these qualifying circumstances] we may allow them to be involuntary; for no one would choose anything of this kind on its own account.

But in some cases we do not praise, but pardon, i. It is scarcely possible, however, to lay down rules for determining which of two alternatives is to be preferred; for there are many differences in the particular cases. For instance, when a man is drunk or in a rage he is not thought Edition: current; Page: [ 63 ] to act through ignorance, but through intoxication or rage, and yet not knowingly, but in ignorance.

These are the grounds of pity and pardon; for he who is ignorant of any of these particulars acts involuntarily. They are—first, the doer; secondly, the deed; and, thirdly, the object or person affected by it; sometimes also that wherewith e. But a man may be ignorant of what he is doing; e. Again, one might kill a man with a drug intended to save him, or hit him hard when one wished merely to touch him as boxers do when they spar with open hands.

Interpreted in the latter sense, it is surely ridiculous, as the cause of both is the same. Both alike Peters III. For it seems to be most intimately connected with virtue, and to be a surer test of character than action itself. For children and other animals have will, but not choice or purpose; and acts done upon the spur of the moment are said to be voluntary, but not to be done with deliberate purpose. In the first place, choice is not shared by irrational creatures, but appetite and anger are.

Again, the object of appetite [or aversion] is the pleasant or the painful, but the object of purpose [as such] is neither painful nor pleasant. But, further, it is not identical with a particular kind of opinion. For our choice of good or evil Edition: current; Page: [ 68 ] makes us morally good or bad, holding certain opinions does not. Again, we choose a thing when we know well that it is good; we may have an opinion about a thing of which we know nothing.

It seems, as we said, that what is chosen or purposed is willed, but that what is willed is not always chosen or purposed. The name itself, too, seems to indicate this, implying that something is chosen before or in preference to other things. The reason why we do not deliberate about these things is that none of them are things that we can ourselves effect. And these are the only things that remain; for besides nature and necessity and chance, the only remaining cause of change is reason and human agency in general. Though we must add that men severally deliberate about what they can themselves do.

We deliberate, then, about things that are brought about by our own agency, but not always in the same way; e. In important matters we call in advisers, distrusting our own powers of judgment. A physician does not deliberate whether he shall heal, nor an orator whether he shall persuade, nor a statesman whether he shall make a good system of laws, nor a man in any other profession about his end; but, having the proposed end in view, we consider how and by what means this end can be attained; and if it appear that it can be attained by various means, we further consider which is the easiest and best; but if it can only be attained by one means, we consider how it is to be attained by this means, and how this means itself is to be secured, and so on, until we come to the first link in the chain of causes, which is last in the order of discovery.

For in deliberation we seem to inquire and to analyze in the way described, just as we analyze a geometrical figure in order to learn how to construct Peters III. By possible I mean something that can be done by us; and what can be done by our friends can in a manner be done by us; for it is we who set our friends to work.

And if he goes on deliberating for ever he will never come to a conclusion. For we always stop in our inquiry how to do a thing when we have traced back the chain of causes to ourselves, and to the commanding part of ourselves; for this is the part that chooses. The good man, then, wishes for the real object of wish; but what the bad man wishes for may be anything whatever; just as, with regard to the body, those who are in good condition find those things healthy that are really healthy, while those who are diseased find other things healthy and it is just the same with things bitter, sweet, hot, heavy, etc.

What misleads people seems to be in most cases pleasure; it seems to be a good thing, even when it is Peters III. So they choose what is pleasant as good, and shun pain as evil. Actions that are concerned with means, then, will be guided by choice, and so will be voluntary. But the acts in which the virtues are manifested are concerned with means. For where it lies with us to do, it lies with us not to do. Where we can say no, we can say yes. If then the doing a deed, which is noble, lies with us, the not doing it, which is disgraceful, lies with us; and if the not doing, which is noble, lies with us, the doing, which is disgraceful, Peters III.

But if the doing and likewise the not doing of noble or base deeds lies with us, and if this is, as we found, identical with being good or bad, then it follows that it lies with us to be worthy or worthless men. But no one encourages us to do that which does not depend on ourselves, and which is not voluntary: it would be useless to be persuaded not to feel heat or pain or hunger and so on, as we should feel them all the same. Again, ignorance of any of the ordinances of the law, which a man ought to know and easily Peters III.

And so in Edition: current; Page: [ 76 ] other cases, where ignorance seems to be the result of negligence, the offender is punished, since it lay with him to remove this ignorance; for he might have taken the requisite trouble. We reply that men are themselves responsible for acquiring such a character by a dissolute life, and for being unjust or profligate in consequence of repeated acts of wrong, or of spending their time in drinking and so on. For it is repeated acts of a particular kind that give a man a particular character. But if a man knowingly does acts which must make Peters III.

And it may be that he is voluntarily sick, through living incontinently and disobeying the doctor. At one time, then, he had the option not to be sick, but he no longer has it now that he has thrown away his health. When you have discharged a stone it is no longer in your power to call it back; but nevertheless the throwing and Edition: current; Page: [ 77 ] casting away of that stone rests with you; for the beginning of its flight depended upon you.

Just so the unjust or the profligate man at the beginning was free not to acquire this character, and therefore he is voluntarily unjust or profligate; but now that he has acquired it, he is no longer free to put it off. We do not censure natural ugliness, but we do censure that which is due to negligence and want of exercise. And so with weakness and infirmity: we should never reproach a man who was born blind, or had lost his sight in an illness or by a blow—we should rather pity him; but we should all censure a man who had blinded himself by excessive drinking or any other kind of profligacy.

And if this be so, then in other fields also those vices that are blamed must depend upon ourselves. If, I answer, each man be in some way responsible for his habits or character, then in some way he must be responsible for this appearance also. But if this be not the case, then a man is not responsible for, or is not the cause of, his own evil doing, but it is through ignorance of the end that he does evil, fancying that thereby he will secure the greatest good: and the striving towards the true end does not depend on our own choice, but a man must be born with a gift of sight, so to speak, if he is to discriminate rightly and to choose what is really good: and he is truly well-born who is by nature richly endowed with this gift; for, as it is the greatest and the fairest gift, which we cannot acquire or learn from another, but must keep all our lives just as nature gave it to us, to be well and nobly born in this respect is to be well-born in the truest and completest sense.

Now, granting this to be true, how will virtue be any more voluntary than vice? But our particular acts are not voluntary in the same sense as our habits: for we are masters of our acts from beginning to end when we know the particular circumstances; but we are masters of the beginnings only of our habits or characters, while their growth by gradual steps is imperceptible, like the growth of disease. Inasmuch, however, as it lay with us to employ or not to employ our faculties in this way, the resulting characters are on that account voluntary. And, first of all, let us take courage.

There are things which we actually ought to fear, which it is noble to fear and base not to fear, e. He who fears disgrace is an honourable man, with a due sense of shame, while he who fears it not is shameless though some people stretch the word courageous so far as to apply it to him; for he has a certain resemblance to the courageous man, courage Peters III.

Poverty, perhaps, we ought not to fear, nor disease, nor generally those things that are not the result of vice, and do not depend upon ourselves. But still to be fearless in regard to these things is not strictly courage; though here also the term is sometimes applied in virtue of a certain resemblance. There are people, Edition: current; Page: [ 81 ] for instance, who, though cowardly in the presence of the dangers of war, are yet liberal and bold in the spending of money.

Surely in the greatest; for no one is more able to endure what is terrible. But of all things the most terrible is death; for death is our limit, and when a man is once dead it seems that there is no longer either good or evil for him. Surely on the noblest occasions: and those are the occasions which occur in war; for they involve the greatest and the noblest danger.

Such things, then, inspire fear in every rational man. But the fearful things that a man may face differ in importance and in being more or less fearful and so with the things Peters III. Now, the courageous man always keeps his presence of mind so far as a man can.

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And thus men err sometimes by fearing the wrong things, sometimes by fearing in the wrong manner or at the wrong time, and so on. For the courageous man regulates both his feeling and his action according to the merits of each case and as reason bids him. Therefore the end or motive of his courage is also noble; for everything takes its character from its end.

It is from a noble motive, therefore, that the courageous man endures and acts courageously in each particular case. He that is over-confident in the presence of Peters III. But the foolhardy man is generally thought to be really a braggart, and to pretend a courage which he has not: at least he wishes to seem what the courageous man really is in the presence of danger; so he imitates him Peters III.

He is also deficient in confidence; but his character rather displays itself in excess of fear in the presence of pain. But it is the contrary with the courageous man; for confidence implies hopefulness. But to seek death as a refuge from poverty, or love, or any painful thing, is not the act of a brave man, but of a coward. For it is effeminacy thus to fly from vexation; and in such a case death is accepted not because it is noble, but simply as an escape from evil.

But besides this there are five other kinds of courage so called. Citizens seem often to face dangers because of legal pains and penalties on the one hand, and honours on the other. And on this account the people seem to be most courageous in those states where cowards are disgraced and brave men honoured. Diomede and Hector. But a man ought to be courageous, not under compulsion, but because it is noble to be so.

This sort of courage is exhibited by various persons in various matters, but notably by regular troops in military affairs; for it seems that in war there are many occasions of groundless alarm, and with these the regulars are better acquainted; so they appear to be courageous, simply because the other troops do not understand the real state of the case. So they fight with the advantage of armed over unarmed men, or of trained over untrained men; for in athletic contests also it is not the bravest men that can fight best, but those who are strongest and have their bodies in the best order.

But that is not what we mean by courageous. And so beasts are not courageous, since it is pain and rage that drives them to rush on danger, without foreseeing any of the terrible consequences. If this be courage, then asses must be called courageous when they are hungry; for though you beat them they will not leave off eating. Adulterers also are moved to do many bold deeds by their lust. However, this kind of courage, whose impulse is rage, seems to be the most natural, and, when deliberate purpose and the right motive are added to it, to become real courage.

Again, anger is a painful state, the act of revenge is pleasant; but those who fight from these motives [ i. The two resemble one another, since both are confident; but whereas the courageous man is confident for the reasons specified above, the sanguine man is confident because he thinks he is superior and will win without Peters III.

People behave in the same sort of way when they get drunk; for then they become sanguine. But when he finds that this is not the case, he runs away; while it is the character of the courageous man, as we saw, to face that which is terrible to a man even when he sees the danger, because it is noble to do so and base not to do so. When we see what is coming we may choose to meet Edition: current; Page: [ 89 ] it, as the result of calculation and reasoning, but when it comes upon us suddenly we must choose according to our character.

And so while the latter hold their ground for some time, the former, whose courage was due to a false belief, run away the moment they perceive or suspect that the case is different; as the Argives did when they engaged the Spartans under the idea that they were Sicyonians. Courage, therefore, brings pain, and is justly praised; for it is harder to endure what is painful than to abstain from what is pleasant. Boxers, for instance, have a pleasant end in view, that for which they strive, the crown and the honours; but the blows they receive are grievous to flesh and blood, and painful, and so are all the labours they undergo; and as the latter are many, while the end is small, the pleasantness of the end is hardly apparent.

And the more he is endowed with every virtue, and the happier he is, the more grievous will death be to him; for life is more worth living to a man of his sort than to any one else, and he deprives himself knowingly of the very best things; and it is painful to do that. But he is no less courageous because he feels this pain; nay, we may say he is even more courageous, because in spite of it he chooses noble conduct in battle in preference to those good things.

We have already said that temperance is moderation or observance of the mean with regard to pleasures for it is not concerned with pains so much, nor in the same manner ; profligacy also manifests itself in the same field. When he who loves honour or learning is delighted by that which he loves, it is not his body that is affected, but his mind. But men are not called either temperate or profligate for their behaviour with regard to these pleasures; nor for their behaviour with regard to any other pleasures that are not of the body.

For instance, those who are fond of gossip and of telling stories, and spend their days in trifles, are called babblers, but not profligate; nor do we apply this term to those who are pained beyond measure at the loss of money or friends. We do not say that those who delight in the smell of fruit or roses or incense are profligate, but rather those who delight in the smell of unguents and savoury dishes; for the profligate delights in these smells because they remind him of the things that he lusts after.

It is not the scent of a hare that delights a dog, but the eating of it; only the announcement comes through his sense of smell. The lion rejoices not in the lowing of the ox, but in the devouring of him; but as the lowing announces that the ox is near, the lion appears to delight in the sound itself. So also, it is not seeing a stag or a wild goat that pleases him, but the anticipation of a meal.

For it is the function of taste to distinguish flavours, as is done by winetasters and by those who season dishes; but it is by no means this discrimination of objects that gives delight to profligates, at any rate , but the actual enjoyment of them, the medium of which is always the sense of touch, alike in the pleasures of eating, of drinking, and of sexual intercourse.

That sense, then, with which profligacy is concerned is of all senses the commonest or most widespread; and so profligacy would seem to be deservedly of all vices the most censured, inasmuch as it attaches not to our human, but to our animal nature. And further, the more manly sort even of the pleasures of touch are excluded from the sphere of profligacy, such as the pleasures which the gymnast finds in rubbing and the warm bath; for the profligate does not cultivate the sense of touch over his whole body, but in certain parts only.

Thus the desire of food is natural [or common to the race]; every man when he is in want desires meat or drink, or sometimes both, and sexual intercourse, as Homer says, when he is young and vigorous. Of course it is also partly natural: different people are pleased by different things, and yet there are some things which all men like better than others. Whereas people are called fond of this or that because they delight either in wrong things, or to an unusual degree, or in a wrong fashion, profligates exceed in all these ways. For they delight in some things in which they ought not to delight since they are hateful things , and if it be right to delight in any of these things they delight in them more than is right and more than is usual.

And so he is constantly pained by failing to get them and by lusting after them: for all appetite involves pain; but it seems a strange thing to be pained for the sake of pleasure. And indeed even the lower animals discriminate kinds of food, and delight in some and not in others; and a being to whom nothing was pleasant, and who found no difference between one thing and another, would be very far removed from being a man. We have no name for such a being, because he does not exist. For a man is impelled to the former by pleasure, to the latter by pain; but pleasure is a thing we choose, Peters III.

Pain puts us beside ourselves and upsets the nature of the sufferer, while pleasure has no such effect. Profligacy, therefore, is more voluntary. Profligacy is for these reasons more to be blamed than cowardice, and for another reason too, viz. It is not Edition: current; Page: [ 97 ] painful to be a coward, but the occasions which exhibit cowardice put men beside themselves through fear of pain, so that they throw away their arms and altogether disgrace themselves; and hence these particular acts are even thought to be compulsory.

It makes no difference for our present purpose which of the two is named after the other, but it is plain that the later is named after the earlier. Now, these characteristics are nowhere so strongly marked as in appetite and in childhood; children too [as well as the profligate] live according to their appetites, and the desire for pleasant things is Peters III. If then this element be not submissive and obedient to the governing principle, it will make great head: for in an irrational being the desire for pleasant things is insatiable and ready to gratify itself in any way, and the gratification of the appetite increases the natural tendency, and if the gratifications are great and intense they even thrust out reason altogether.


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The gratifications of appetite, Edition: current; Page: [ 98 ] therefore, should be moderate and few, and appetite should be in no respect opposed to reason this is Peters III. Peters IV. What we commend in a liberal man is his behaviour, not in war, nor in those circumstances in which temperance is commended, nor yet in passing judgment, but in the giving and taking of wealth, and especially Peters IV.

Illiberality always means caring for wealth more than is right; but prodigality sometimes stands for a combination of vices. Thus incontinent people, who squander their money in riotous living, are called Peters IV. And so prodigals are held to be very worthless individuals, as they combine a number of vices. But we must remember that this is not the proper Peters IV. But each thing is best used by him who has the virtue that is concerned with that thing. And so it is more distinctive of the liberal man to give to the right people than to take from the right source and not to take from the wrong source.

For it is more distinctive of virtue to do good to others than to have good done to you, and to do what is noble than not to do what is base. Again, we are thankful to him who gives, not to him who does not take; and so also we praise the former rather than the latter. Again, of all virtuous characters the liberal man is perhaps the most beloved, because he is useful; but his usefulness lies in his giving. The liberal man, therefore, like the others, will give with a view to, or for the sake of, that which is noble, and give rightly; i.

And so he will not neglect his property, since he wishes by means of it to help others. But he will refuse to give to any casual person, in order that he may have wherewithal to give to the right persons, at the right times, and where it is noble to give. And so it is quite possible that the giver of the smaller sum may be the more liberal man, if his means be smaller. It is not easy for a liberal man to be rich, as he is not apt to take or to keep, but is apt to spend, and cares for money not on its own account, but only for the sake of giving it away.

CONSPECTUS.

But this is natural enough; for it is just as impossible to have wealth without taking trouble about it, as it is to have anything else. For, as we have already said, he is liberal who spends in proportion to his fortune, on proper objects, while he who exceeds this is prodigal.

For since the virtue is moderation in both giving and taking, the man who has the virtue will do both rightly. Right taking is consistent with right giving, but any other taking is contrary to it. Those givings and takings, then, that are consistent with one another are found in the same person, while those that are contrary to one another manifestly are not.

Prodigality exceeds in giving and in not taking, but falls short in taking; illiberality falls short in giving, but exceeds in taking—in small things, we must add. For he is easily cured by advancing years and by lack of means, and may come to the middle course. For he has the essential points of the liberal character; he gives and abstains from taking, though he does neither well nor as he ought.

If then he can be trained to this, or if in any other way this change in his nature can be effected, he will be liberal; for then he will give to whom he ought, and will not take whence he ought not. And so he is generally thought to be not a bad character; for to go too far in giving and in not taking does not show a vicious or ignoble nature so much as a foolish one.

They become grasping because they wish to spend, but cannot readily do so, as their supplies soon fail. So they are compelled to draw from other sources. At the same time, since they care nothing for what is noble, they will take quite recklessly from any source whatever; for they long to give, but care not a whit how the money goes or whence it comes.

Sometimes they enrich those who ought to be poor, and will give Edition: current; Page: [ ] nothing to men of well-regulated character, while they give a great deal to those who flatter them, or furnish them with any other pleasure. And thus the greater part of them are profligates; for, being ready to part with their money, they are apt to lavish it on riotous living, and as they do not shape their lives with a view to that which is noble, they easily fall away into the pursuit of pleasure.

It also runs in the blood more than prodigality; the generality of men are more apt to be fond of money than of giving. It consists of two parts—deficiency in giving, and excess of taking; but it is not always found in its entirety; sometimes the parts are separated, and one man exceeds in taking, while another falls short Peters IV. Some are impelled to this conduct by a kind of honesty, or desire to avoid what is disgraceful—I mean that some of them seem, or at any rate profess, to be saving, in order that they may never be compelled to do anything disgraceful; e.

Others, again, exceed in the matter of taking so far as to make any gain they can in any way whatever, e. For all these make money from improper sources to an improper extent. The dice-sharper, however, and the man who steals clothes at the bath, or the common thief, are reckoned among the illiberal; for they all make base gains; i. Both then, wishing to make gain in improper ways, are seekers of base gain; and all such ways of making money are illiberal.

For this also seems to be a virtue that is concerned with wealth. But it does not, like liberality, extend over the whole field of money transactions, but only over those that involve large expenditure; and in these it goes beyond liberality in largeness. But the largeness is relative: the expenditure that is suitable for a man who is fitting out a war-ship is not the same as that which is suitable for the chief of a sacred embassy. What is suitable, then, is relative to the person, Peters IV. Yet he who spends what is fitting on trifling or moderately important occasions is not called magnificent; e.

For the magnificent man is liberal, but a man may be liberal without being magnificent. But we will speak of them presently. For, as we said at the outset, a habit or type of character takes its complexion from the acts in which it issues and the things it produces. What he produces then will also be of the same nature; for only thus will the expense be at once great and suitable to the result. The result, then, must be proportionate to the expenditure, and the expenditure proportionate to the result, or even greater. He will inquire how the work can be made most beautiful and most elegant, rather than what its cost will be, and how it can be done most cheaply.

For the excellence of a possession is not the same as the excellence of a product or work of art: as a possession, that is most precious or estimable which is worth most, e. But such expenditure is becoming in those who have got the requisite means, either by their own efforts or through their ancestors or their connections, and who have birth and reputation, etc. And he will spend money more readily on things that last; for these Peters IV. And on each occasion he will spend what is suitable—which is not the same for gods as for men, for a temple as for a tomb.

The man who exceeds whom we call vulgar exceeds, as we said, in spending improperly. He spends great sums on little objects, and makes an unseemly display; e. And all this he will do from no desire for what is noble or beautiful, but merely to display his wealth, because he hopes thereby to gain admiration, spending little where he should spend much, and much where he should spend little. The man we have described, then, is high-minded. For desert has reference to external good things. Now, the greatest of external good things we may assume to be that which we render to the Gods as their due, and that which people in high stations most desire, and which is the prize appointed for the noblest deeds.

But the thing that answers to this description is honour, which, we may safely say, is the greatest of all external goods. Honours and dishonours, therefore, are the field in which the high-minded man behaves as he ought. The really high-minded man, therefore, must be a good or excellent man. And indeed greatness in every virtue or excellence would seem to be necessarily implied in being a high-minded or great-souled man.

Survey him point by point and you will find that the notion of a high-minded man that is not a good or excellent man is utterly absurd. Indeed, if he were not good, he could not be worthy of honour; for honour is the prize of virtue, and is rendered to the good as their due. And on this account it is a hard thing to be truly high-minded; for it is impossible without the union of all the virtues. But honour from ordinary men and on trivial grounds he will utterly despise; for that is not what he deserves. And dishonour likewise he will make light of; for he will never merit it.

But he who thinks lightly of honour must think lightly of them also. For those who are well born are thought worthy of honour, and those who are powerful or wealthy; for they are in a position of superiority, and that which is superior in any good thing is always held in greater honour.

And so these things do make people more high-minded in a Peters IV. But in strictness it is only the good man that is worthy of honour, though he that has both goodness and good fortune is commonly thought to be more worthy of honour. Those, however, who have these good things without virtue, neither have any just claim to great things, nor are properly to be called high-minded; for neither is possible without complete virtue.

For without virtue it is not easy to bear the gifts of fortune becomingly; and so, being unable to bear them, and thinking themselves superior to everybody else, such people look down upon others, and yet themselves do Edition: current; Page: [ ] whatever happens to please them. They imitate the high-minded man without being really like him, and they imitate him where they can; that is to say, they do not exhibit virtue in their acts, but they look down Peters IV. For the high-minded man never looks down upon others without justice for he estimates them correctly , while most men do so for quite irrelevant reasons.

And when he has received a benefit, he is apt to confer a greater in return; for thus his creditor will become his debtor and be in the position of a recipient of his favour. He readily forgets injuries; for it is not consistent with his character to brood on the past, especially on past injuries, but rather to overlook them. Now these two also do not seem to be bad—for they do no harm—though they are in error. For the little-minded man, though he deserves good things, deprives himself of that which he deserves, and so seems to be the worse for not claiming these good things, and for misjudging himself; for if he judged right he would desire what he deserves, as it is good.

I do not mean to say that such people seem to be fools, but rather too retiring But a misjudgment of this kind does seem actually to make them worse; for men strive for that which they deserve, and shrink from noble deeds and employments of which they think themselves unworthy, as well as from mere external good things. Just as in the taking and giving of money it is possible to observe the mean, and also to exceed or fall short of it, so it is possible in desire for honour to go too far or not far enough, or, again, to desire honour from the right source and in the right manner.

It is plain, then, that there are various senses in which a man is said to be fond of a thing, and that the term fond of honour has not always the same sense, but that as a term of praise it means fonder than most men, and as a term of reproach it means fonder than is right. But, as there is no recognized term for the observance of the mean, the extremes fight, so to speak, for what seems an empty place.

But wherever there is excess and defect there is also Peters IV. Compared with ambition, it seems to be lack of ambition; compared with lack of ambition, it seems to be ambition; compared with both at once, it seems in a way to be both at once. But in this case the extreme characters seem to be opposed to one another [instead of to the moderate character], because the character that observes the mean has no recognized name. But it must be noted that we have no recognized name for the mean, and scarcely any recognized names for the extremes.

And so the term gentleness, which properly denotes an inclination towards deficiency in anger for which also we have no recognized name , is applied to the mean. For the Edition: current; Page: [ ] man who is called gentle wishes not to lose his balance, and not to be carried away by his emotions or passions, but to be angry only in such manner, and on such occasions, and for such period as reason Peters IV. But he seems to err rather on the side of deficiency; he is loth to take vengeance and very ready to forgive.

Those who are not angered by what ought to anger them seem to be foolish, and so do those who are not angry as and Peters IV. All these errors, however, are not found in the same person. That would be impossible; for evil is self-destructive, and, if it appears in its entirety, becomes quite unbearable.

And the reason is that they do not keep in their anger, but, through the quickness of their temper, at once retaliate, and so let Edition: current; Page: [ ] what is in them come to light, and then have done with it. For so soon as we retaliate we are relieved: vengeance makes us cease from our anger, substituting a pleasant for a painful state. Such men are exceedingly troublesome to themselves and their dearest friends. Edition: current; Page: [ ] He who errs slightly from the right course is not blamed, whether it be on the side of excess or of deficiency; for sometimes we praise those who fall short and call them gentle, and sometimes those who behave hardly are called manly, as being able to rule.

But what amount and kind of error makes a man blamable can scarcely be defined; for it depends upon the particular circumstances of each case, and can only be decided by immediate perception. It is evident, therefore, that we must strive for the habit which observes the mean. Those who take the opposite line, and object to everything and never think for a moment what pain they may give, are called cross and contentious.

For the man who exhibits this moderation is the same sort of man that we mean when we speak of an upright friend, except that Peters IV. This differs from friendliness in that it does not imply emotion and affection for those with whom we associate; for he who has this quality acquiesces when he ought, not because he loves or hates, but because that is his character.

He will behave thus alike to those whom he knows and to those whom he does not know, to those with whom he is intimate and to those with whom he is not intimate, only that in each case he will behave as is fitting; for we are not bound to show the same consideration to strangers as to intimates, nor to take the same care not to pain them. It seems to be with the pleasures and pains of social intercourse that he is concerned.

Now, whenever he finds that it is not noble, or is positively hurtful to himself, to contribute to any of these pleasures, he will refuse to Edition: current; Page: [ ] acquiesce and will prefer to give pain. And if the pleasure is such as to involve discredit, and no slight discredit, or some injury to him who is the source of it, while his opposition will give a little pain, he will not acquiesce, but will set his face against Peters IV.

But he will behave differently according as he is in the company of great people or ordinary people, of intimate friends or mere acquaintances, and so on, rendering to each his due; preferring, apart from other considerations, to promote pleasure, and loth to give pain, but regulating his conduct by consideration of the consequences, if they be considerable—by consideration, I mean, of what is noble and fitting.

And thus for the sake of great pleasure in the future he will inflict a slight pain now.

The Bad Guys: The 25 Most Incorrigible Imposters, Villains, and Killers Ever to Walk the Earth

But he who sets his face against everything is, as we have already said, cross and contentious. But the extremes seem here to be opposed to one another [instead of to the mean], because there is no name for the mean. John King. Barri Flowers. Louis Weaver.

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The Bad Guys: The 25 Most Incorrigible Imposters, Villains, and Killers Ever to Walk the Earth The Bad Guys: The 25 Most Incorrigible Imposters, Villains, and Killers Ever to Walk the Earth
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