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CHAPTER XXXThat Man’s Happiness does not consist in Riches

RICHES are not desired except for the sake of something else: for of themselves they do no good, but only as we use them. But the highest good is desired for its own sake, and not for the sake of something else.

2. The possession or preservation of those things cannot be the highest good, which benefit man most in being parted with. But such is the use of riches, to spend.

3. The act of liberality and munificence, the virtues that deal with money, is more praiseworthy, in that money is parted with, than that money is got. Man’s happiness therefore does not consist in the possession of riches.566566But perhaps in the spending of them, which presupposes possession. Not in the spending of them for the mere sake of spending, which is called ‘throwing money away.’ And if they are spent for a purpose, in that purpose rather than in the spending must happiness lie.

4. That in the gaining of which man’s chief good lies must be some thing better than man. But man is better than his riches, which are things ordained to his use.

5. The highest good of man is not subject to fortune: for fortuitous events happen without effort of reason, whereas man must gain his proper end by reason. But fortune has great place in the gaining of riches.567567Especially in persons ‘born to fortune.’

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