Greatness of spirit is to bear finely both good fourtune and bad, honor and disgrace, and not to think highly of luxury or attention or power or victories in contests, and to possess a certain depth and magnitude of spirit.
We maintain, and have said in the Ethics, if the arguments there adduced are of any value, that happiness is the realization and perfect exercise of virtue, and this not conditional, but absolute. And I used the term 'conditional' to express that which is indispensable, and 'absolute' to express that which is good in itself.
Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered. As in other sciences, so in politics, it is impossible that all things should be precisely set down in writing; for enactments must be universal, but actions are concerned with particulars. Hence we infer that sometimes and in certain cases laws may be changed;
The majority of mankind would seem to be beguiled into error by pleasure, which, not being really a good, yet seems to be so. So that they indiscriminately choose as good whatsoever gives them pleasure, while they avoid all pain alike as evil.
At first he who invented any art that went beyond the common perceptions of man was naturally admired by men, not only because there was something useful in the inventions, but because he was thought wise and superior to the rest. But as more arts were invented, and some were directed to the necessities of life, others to its recreation, the inventors of the latter were always regarded as wiser than the inventors of the former, because their branches of knowledge did not aim at utility.