Book 04
Chapter 04
As magnificence is to liberality, so likewise is magnanimity to proper pride.

Now, as magnificence is to liberality, so likewise is magnanimity to proper pride. Neither liberality nor proper pride are virtues relating to things on a grand scale. They are more about being a good person in everyday life.

Liberality is about wealth and not valuing it too much like mean people do, but also not being like the prodigals who waste it because they value it too little. So likewise, proper pride is about honor (instead of wealth) and valuing it rightly, not like the overly ambitious, who want it too much, and not like the unambitious, who do not appreciate it enough, even though honor is a good thing and one ought to want to have it.

Lovers of honor want honor much too badly, and they try too hard to get it, and, at times, they try to get it from the wrong sources. Those who do not care for honor will push away honors, even if the honors are put forth for noble reasons. And yet sometimes we give praise to lovers of honor and call them manly and say that it is good how they love things that are noble, but then we also praise those who do not care for honor as being moderate and having good self-control. (And here we would mean situations in which such people could well choose to get into a fight over a point of honor, but they do not, because they rather value peace.)

When people talk about how this one loves honor and that one does not care for it, it makes it seem as if there is no middle ground: you either love it or not. And so for someone that does have proper pride, at one time it can seem like they are a lover of honor and at another time it seems like they do not care for it at all. This happens with the other virtues also. Consider again liberality and a case where someone who is undeserving asks for a hand out, and then the liberal person says "no", and now they may seem like they are being mean. But then when a dear friend needs help and they go out of their way to give to them even though they themselves do not have much, now it seems like they are being prodigal. It is like this with all the virtues. But even though people may think as though there are only the extremes and a person must be at either one or the other, we know that there will always be a virtue by which we do the right things, at the right times, and get the right results, based on the case at hand. The virtue will exist, even if there is no name for it.


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