Περὶ φθόνου
Concerning envy
1. Ἀγαθὸς ὁ Θεὸς,
God is good,
καὶ ἀγαθῶν τοῖς ἀξίοις παρεκτικός·
and He Is the Giver of blessings to the deserving;
πονηρὸς ὁ διάβολος,
the devil is wicked,
καὶ κακίας παντοίας δημιουργός.
and the deviser of every form of iniquity.
Καὶ ὥσπερ ἕπεται
And as is consistent
τῷ ἀγαθῷ
with the good
ἡ ἀφθονία
the freedom from envy
οὕτως ἀκολουθεῖ
so it relates
τῷ διαβόλῳ
to the devil
ἡ βασκανία.
the envy.
Φυλαξώμεθα οὖν, ἀδελφοί,
Let us shun therefore, brethren,
τὸ πάθος τοῦ φθόνου,
the vice of envy,
μὴ κοινωνοὶ τῶν ἔργων
let us not be sharers in the works
τοῦ ἀντικειμένου γενώμεθα,
of our adversary,
καὶ εὑρεθῶμεν τῷ αὐτῷ
and so be found with him
συγκαταδικαζόμενοι κρίματι.
together condemned by the same sentence.
Εἰ γὰρ ὁ τυφωθεὶς
For if the proud man
εἰς κρῖμα ἐμπίπτει τοῦ διαβόλου,
is subject to the judgment pronounced upon the devil,
πῶς ὁ φθονερὸς
how will the envious man
τὴν ἡτοιμασμένην τῷ διαβόλῳ τιμωρίαν
the punishment that was prepared for the devil
ἐκφεύξεται;
will escape?
Φθόνου γὰρ πάθος
Compared with the vice of envy
οὐδὲν ὀλεθριώτερον
no other more pernicious
ψυχαῖς ἀνθρώπων ἐμφύεται·
is ever implanted in the souls of men;
ὃς ἐλάχιστα λυπῶν τοὺς ἔξωθεν,
a passion that does not harm others in the least,
πρῶτον κακὸν καὶ οἰκεῖόν ἐστι
but first and foremost a personal detriment it is
τῷ κεκτημένῳ.
to the one who owns it.
Ὥσπερ γὰρ ἰὸς σίδηρον,
As rust wears away iron,
οὕτως ὁ φθόνος
so envy
τὴν ἔχουσαν αὐτὸν ψυχὴν ἐξαναλίσκει.
corrodes the soul it inhabits.
Μᾶλλον δὲ ὥσπερ τὰς ἐχίδνας φασὶ
More than this, like the vipers which are said
τὴν κυήσασαν αὐτὰς γαστέρα
that through the womb that conceived them
διεσθιούσας ἀπογεννᾶσθαι,
by eating their way out they are born,
οὕτω καὶ ὁ φθόνος
likewise envy
τὴν ὠδίνουσαν αὐτὸν ψυχὴν πέφυκε δαπανᾷν.
corrodes the soul it inhabits.
Λύπη γάρ ἐστι
Because it is pain
τῆς τοῦ πλησίον εὐπραγίας
caused by our neighbor's prosperity
ὁ φθόνος.
the envy.
∆ιόπερ οὐδέποτε ἀνίαι,
Hence, causes for grief are never,
οὐδέποτε δυσθυμίαι
neither are causes for despondency
τὸν βάσκανον ἀπολείπουσιν.
missing from an envious man.
Εὐφόρησεν ἡ χώρα τοῦ πλησίον;
Is his neighbor's land fertile?
εὐθηνεῖται πᾶσι τοῖς κατὰ τὸν βίον ὁ οἶκος;
His house abounds with all the goods of this life?
θυμηδίαι τὸν ἄνδρα οὐκ ἐπιλείπουσι;
The man enjoys continual gladness of heart?
Ταῦτα πάντα τροφὴ τῆς νόσου
All these things aggravate the sickness
καὶ προσθήκη τῆς ἀλγηδόνος
and additional pain
ἐστὶ τῷ βασκάνῳ.
are to the envious man.
Ὥστε οὐδὲν διαφέρει
Therefore, he differs in nothing
ἀνθρώπου γυμνοῦ
from a naked person
παρὰ πάντων τιτρωσκομένου.
who is being pierced with wounds from all quarters.
Ἀνδρεῖός τίς ἐστιν;
Is anyone brave?
εὐεκτεῖ;
Is anyone vigorous?
Ταῦτα πλήττει τὸν βάσκανον.
This is a blow to the envious man.
Ἕτερος χαριέστερος τὴν μορφήν;
Is someone else handsomer than he?
Ἄλλη πληγὴ τῷ βασκάνῳ.
Another blow to the envious man.
Ὁ δεῖνα τοῖς
Is that other person
τῆς ψυχῆς προτερήμασι
concerning his mental endowment
τῶν πολλῶν ὑπερέχει;
superior to many others?
ἐπὶ φρονήσει καὶ δυνάμει λόγων
Because of his wisdom and eloquence
ἀποβλέπεται καὶ ζηλοῦται;
is he looked up to and emulated?
Ἄλλος πλουτεῖ
Is someone else rich
καὶ φιλοτιμεῖται λαμπρῶς
and greatly eager
ἐν ἐπιδόσεσι καὶ κοινωνίᾳ τῇ
in lavishing his wealth in alms and charitable contributions
πρὸς τοὺς ἐνδεεῖς,
toward the poor,
καὶ πολὺς αὐτῷ
and great he receives
παρὰ τῶν εὐεργετουμένων
from the beneficiaries of his charity
ὁ ἔπαινος;
the praise?
Ταῦτα πάντα πληγαὶ καὶ τραύματα,
All these are like so many blows and wounds,
μέσην αὐτοῦ τύπτοντα τὴν καρδίαν.
piercing the envious man to his heart's core.
Καὶ τὸ χαλεπὸν τῆς νόσου,
And the worst feature of this malady,
ὅτι οὐδὲ ἐξειπεῖν αὐτὴν δύναται,
is that its victim cannot even reveal it to anyone,
ἀλλὰ κύπτει μὲν
but he hangs his head
καὶ κατηφής ἐστι
and is ill-tempered
καὶ συγκέχυται
and he is troubled
καὶ ποτνιᾶται
and he laments out loud
καὶ ἀπόλωλεν ὑπὸ τοῦ κακοῦ.
and is utterly undone by this vice.
Ἐρωτώμενος δὲ τὸ πάθος,
When he is questioned about his vice,
ἐρυθριᾷ δημοσιεῦσαι τὴν συμφορὰν,
he is ashamed to confess his sad condition,
ὅτι βάσκανός εἰμι καὶ πικρὸς
and say: I am envious and bitter
καὶ ἐπιτρίβει με τὰ τοῦ φίλου καλὰ
and the good fortune of my friend distresses me
καὶ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ τὴν εὐθυμίαν ὀδύρομαι
and I am grieving over my brother's joy
καὶ οὐ φέρω τὴν θέαν
and I cannot endure the sight
τῶν ἀλλοτρίων καλῶν,
of others' blessings,
ἀλλὰ συμφορὰν ποιοῦμαι
but I consider as my own misfortune
τὴν τῶν πλησίον εὐημερίαν.
the happiness of my neighbors.
Ταῦτα γὰρ ἂν εἴποι,
This would he say,
εἰ τὰ ἀληθῆ λέγειν βούλοιτο.
if he were willing to tell the truth.
Ὧν οὐδὲν ἐξειπεῖν αἱρούμενος,
But, not choosing to reveal these sentiments,
ἐν τῷ βάθει κατέχει τὴν νόσον
he confines in the depths of his soul this disease
ὑποσμύχουσαν αὐτοῦ τὰ σπλάγχνα
which is gnawing at his vitals
καὶ κατεσθίουσαν.
and consuming them.
2. Οὐκοῦν οὔτε ἰατρὸν
As a consequence, neither a doctor
τῆς νόσου παραλαμβάνει,
for his malady he is able to call,
οὔτε τι φάρμακον ἐξευρεῖν δύναται
and neither he is able to discover a healing remedy
τοῦ πάθους ἀλεξιτήριον,
to cure the vice,
καίτοι πλήρεις αἱ Γραφαὶ
although the Scriptures are filled
τῶν ἰαμάτων τούτων,
with such medicines,
ἀλλὰ μίαν ἀναμένει
but the sick man awaits only one
τοῦ κακοῦ ῥᾳστώνην,
alleviation of his distress,
εἴ πού τινα ἴδοι καταπεσόντα
that, perchance, he may see one fall into misfortune
τῶν φθονουμένων.
of the persons whom he envies.
Οὗτος ὅρος τοῦ μίσους,
This is the goal of his hatred,
ἄθλιον ἰδεῖν ἐκ μακαρίου
to behold the passage from happiness to misery
τὸν βασκαινόμενον,
of the victim of his envy,
ἐλεεινὸν γενέσθαι τὸν ζηλωτόν.
that he who is admired and emulated might become an object of pity.
Τότε σπένδεται
Then he makes peace
καὶ φίλος ἐστὶν,
and becomes his friend,
ὅταν δακρύοντα ἴδῃ,
when he sees someone weeping,
ὅταν πενθοῦντα θεάσηται.
when he beholds him deep in grief.
Καὶ εὐθυμοῦντι μὲν
And when someone is glad
οὐ συνευφραίνεται,
he does not rejoice with him,
ὀδυρομένῳ δὲ
but when he is in sorrow
συνδακρύει.
then he weeps with him.
Καὶ τὴν μεταβολὴν τοῦ βίου,
And the reversal in the condition of the envied one,
ἐξ οἵων εἰς οἷα μεταπέπτωκε,
his fall from great prosperity to bitter misfortune,
κατοικτίζεται,
he pities,
οὐχ ὑπὸ φιλανθρωπίας,
not animated by humane sentiments,
καὶ τοῦ συμπαθὴς εἶναι,
or from sympathy,
ἐξαίρων τῷ λόγῳ
when speaking in glowing terms
τὰ πρότερα,
of his former state,
ἀλλ' ἵνα βαρυτέραν αὐτῷ
but that in a more calamitous light
κατασκευάσῃ τὴν συμφοράν.
the misfortune may appear.
Τὸ παιδίον μετὰ τὸν θάνατον ἐπαινεῖ
He praises the envied man's son after he is dead
καὶ μυρίοις ἐγκωμίοις ἀποσεμνύνει,
and extols him with a thousand ecomiums,
ὡς μὲν καλὸν ἰδεῖν,
how fair he was to look upon,
ὡς δὲ εὐμαθὲς,
how quick to learn,
ὡς δὲ πρὸς πάντα εὐάρμοστον,
how versatile,
οὐκ ἂν αὐτῷ περιόντι
yet, while the boy was living
γλῶσσαν εὔφημον χαρισάμενος.
he did not favor him with even a word of praise.
Ἐὰν μέντοι πολλοὺς ἴδῃ
If, however, he sees many others
συντρέχοντας τῷ ἐπαίνῳ,
joining in a chorus of eulogy,
μεταβαλὼν πάλιν,
he reverses his attitude again,
βασκαίνει τῷ τεθνεῶτι.
and envies the corpse.
Τὸν πλοῦτον θαυμάζει
Wealth he admires
μετὰ τὴν ἔκπτωσιν.
after it has been lost.
Τὴν ὥραν τοῦ σώματος,
The beauty of body,
ἢ τὴν ῥώμην καὶ τὴν εὐεξίαν
or strength and health
μετὰ τὰς νόσους
only when illness comes
ἐπαινεῖ καὶ ἐξαίρει.
he lauds and extols.
Καὶ ὅλως,
In a word,
ἐχθρὸς μέν ἐστι τῶν παρόντων,
he is an enemy of present good fortune,
φίλος δὲ τῶν ἀπολλυμένων.
but a friend when it is no longer possessed.
3. Τί ἂν οὖν γένοιτο
What could be more
τῆς νόσου ταύτης ὀλεθριώτερον;
fatal than this disease?
Φθορὰ τῆς ζωῆς,
It ruins our life,
λύμη τῆς φύσεως,
perverts our nature,
ἔχθρα τῶν παρὰ Θεοῦ δεδομένων ἡμῖν,
arouses hatred of the goods bestowed on us by God,
ἐναντίωσις πρὸς Θεόν.
and places us in a hostile relation toward Him.
Τί τὸν ἀρχέκακον δαίμονα
What drove the devil, that author of evils
εἰς τὸν κατὰ ἀνθρώπων ἐξέμηνε πόλεμον;
to wage furious war upon mankind?
Οὐχ ὁ φθόνος;
Was it not envy?
δι' οὗ καὶ θεομάχος φανερῶς ἀπηλέγχθη,
Because of envy he was guilty even of open conflict with God,
ἀχθόμενος μὲν Θεῷ
filled with bitterness against God
ἐπὶ τῇ μεγαλοδωρεᾷ
because of His liberality
τῇ εἰς τὸν ἄνθρωπον,
toward man,
τὸν ἄνθρωπον δὲ ἀμυνόμενος,
and by his wreaking vengeance upon man,
ἐπειδὴ Θεὸν οὐκ ἠδύνατο.
since he was unable to avenge himself upon God.
Τὰ αὐτὰ δὲ ποιῶν
This same maneuver attempted
καὶ ὁ Κάϊν δείκνυται,
also Cain as it seems,
ὁ πρῶτος μαθητὴς τοῦ διαβόλου
the first disciple of the devil
καὶ φθόνον καὶ φόνον
who envy and murder
παρ' αὐτοῦ διδαχθείς,
learned from him,
τὰς ἀδελφὰς ἀνομίας,
the two related crimes,
ἃς καὶ Παῦλος συνέζευξεν, εἰπών·
as Paul also presents to us when he says;
«Μεστοὺς φθόνου, φόνου».
'they are full of envy and murder'.
Τί οὖν ἦν ὃ ἐποίησεν;
What, then, did Cain do?
Εἶδε τὴν παρὰ Θεοῦ τιμὴν
He saw the honor conferred by God
καὶ ἐξεκαύθη πρὸς ζῆλον
and was inflamed with jealousy
καὶ ἀνεῖλε τὸν τιμηθέντα,
and he slew the recipient of the honor,
ἵνα καθάψηται τοῦ τιμήσαντος.
to hurt the one who honored him.
Πρὸς γὰρ τὴν θεομαχίαν ἀδυνατῶν,
Since he could not contend with God,
εἰς ἀδελφοκτονίαν μετέπεσε.
he slew his brother.
Φύγωμεν, ἀδελφοί,
Let us flee, brethren,
νόσον θεομαχίας διδάσκαλον,
from this disease that would teach us to wage war upon God,
ἀνδροφονίας μητέρα,
that is mother to homicide,
σύγχυσιν φύσεως,
violence to nature,
οἰκειότητος ἄγνοιαν,
disregard to the closest ties of kinship,
συμφορὰν ἀλογωτάτην.
unhappiness based upon irrational motives.
Τί λυπῇ, ἄνθρωπε,
Why do you grieve, my friend,
μηδὲν δεινὸν πεπονθώς;
when you yourself have suffered no misfortune?
τί πολεμεῖς τῷ ἐν ἀγαθοῖς τισιν ὄντι,
Why are you hostile to someone who is enjoying prosperity,
μηδὲν τῶν σῶν ἐλαττώσαντι;
when he has in no way caused your own possessions to decrease?
Ἐὰν δὲ δὴ καὶ εὐεργετούμενος ἀγανακτῇς,
If you are vexed even upon receiving a kindness,
οὐκ ἄντικρυς τῆς ἑαυτοῦ ὠφελείας βασκαίνεις;
are you not quite clearly envious of your own good?
Ὁποῖος ἦν ὁ Σαούλ,
Saul is an example of this,
ὃς τῶν εὐεργεσιῶν τὰς ὑπερβολὰς
who all the great favors to himself
ἀφορμὴν τοῦ πολέμου τοῦ πρὸς τὸν ∆αβὶδ
a motive for enmity toward David
ἐποιήσατο.
he turned them.
Πρῶτον μὲν γὰρ
Because, first
τῇ παναρμονίῳ ἐκείνῃ καὶ θείᾳ μουσικῇ
by the divine and melodious strains of David's harp
τῆς μανίας ἀπαλλαγείς,
having been cured of insanity,
ἐπειρᾶτο δόρατι διαπεῖραι τὸν εὐεργέτην.
he attempted to run his benefactor through with a spear.
Ἔπειτα σὺν αὐτῷ τῷ στρατῷ
Then it happened that he and his army
ἐκ τῶν πολεμίων περισωθεὶς
were delivered from the hands of the enemy
καὶ τῆς ἐπὶ τῷ Γολιὰθ αἰσχύνης ἀπαλλαγείς,
and saved from embarrassment before Goliath,
ὅμως ἐπειδὴ ἐν τοῖς ἐπινικίοις
in singing however the triumphal songs commemorating this victory
τὸ δεκαπλάσιον τῆς τῶν συμβάντων αἰτίας
a tenfold greater share in the achievement
τῷ ∆αβὶδ ἀνέθεσαν αἱ χορεύουσαι·
to David the dancers attributed, saying;
«Ἐπάταξε ∆αβὶδ ἐν μυριάσι
'David slew his ten thousands
καὶ Σαοὺλ ἐν χιλιάσιν αὐτοῦ»·
but Saul slew his thousands';
διὰ μίαν ταύτην φωνὴν
for this one utterance
καὶ τὴν ἐξ αὐτῆς τῆς ἀληθείας ὑπάρξασαν μαρτυρίαν,
and because truth itself was witness to it,
πρῶτον αὐτόχειρ γενέσθαι,
Saul first attempted murder,
καὶ ἐξ ἐνέδρας ἀνελεῖν ἐπεχείρησεν,
and tried to slay David by treachery,
εἶτα φυγάδα καταστήσας,
then he forced him to flee,
οὐδὲ οὕτω τὴν ἔχθραν ἔστησεν,
but he still did not desist from his hatred,
ἀλλὰ τὸ τελευταῖον
and finally
ἐκστρατεύσας ἐπ' αὐτὸν τρισχιλίοις λογάσι,
he arrayed against him three thousand chosen men,
τὰς ἐρημίας διηρευνᾶτο.
and combed the desert in search of him.
Εἰ δὲ ἠρωτήθη
If Saul had been asked
τοῦ πολέμου τὴν πρόφασιν,
the reason for his hostility,
εἶπεν ἂν πάντως
he would have been compelled to admit
τὰς τοῦ ἀνδρὸς εὐποιίας.
that it was the favors received from David's hand.
Ὅς γε
Moreover Saul
παρ' αὐτὸν τὸν καιρὸν τῆς διώξεως
during the very time of the persecution
καθεύδων καταληφθεὶς,
had been found asleep by David,
ἕτοιμος εἰς σφαγὴν
and although Saul lay an easy victim
προκείμενος τῷ ἐχθρῷ,
before his enemy,
καὶ πάλιν περισωθεὶς
his life was again spared
ὑπὸ τοῦ δικαίου,
by that just man,
ἐπαγαγεῖν αὐτῷ τὰς χεῖρας φυλαξαμένου,
for he refrained from doing him violence,
οὐδ' ὑπὸ ταύτης τῆς εὐεργεσίας ἐκάμφθη,
and not even this act of benevolence moved Saul,
ἀλλὰ καὶ πάλιν ἐστρατολόγει,
but again he gathered an army,
καὶ πάλιν ἐδίωκεν,
and again he set out in pursuit,
ἕως
until
καὶ δεύτερον ἁλοὺς ὑπὸ τοῦ αὐτοῦ
he was a second time apprehended by David
ἐν τῷ σπηλαίῳ,
in the cave,
τοῦ μὲν τὴν ἀρετὴν λαμπροτέραν ἀπέδειξεν,
where he made the virtue of David even more resplendent,
ἑαυτοῦ δὲ τὴν πονηρίαν
and his own iniquity
καταφανεστέραν ἐποίησε.
more clearly revealed.
∆υσμεταχειριστότατον ἔχθρας εἶδος ὁ φθόνος.
Envy is the most savage form of hatred.
Τοὺς μὲν γὰρ ἄλλως δυσμενεῖς
Because to those who are hostile to us for any other reason
ἡμερωτέρους ποιοῦσιν αἱ εὐποιίαι,
favors render them more tractable,
τὸν βάσκανον δὲ καὶ κακοήθη
but to an envious and spiteful person
τὸ καλῶς παθεῖν πλέον προσερεθίζει·
kind treatment shown only aggravates his dislike;
καὶ ὅσῳπερ ἂν μειζόνων τύχῃ,
the greater the favors he receives,
μειζόνως ἀγανακτεῖ καὶ ἀνιᾶται,
the more displeased and vexed,
καὶ δυσχεραίνει.
and ill-disposed he becomes.
Πλεῖον γὰρ ἄχθεται
He is more distressed
τῇ δυνάμει τοῦ εὐεργέτου,
by the resources of his benefactor,
ἢ χάριν ἔχει
than he is thankful
τοῖς εἰς αὐτὸν γινομένοις.
for the benefits received.
Ποῖον οὐ νικῶσι θηρίον
Which wild beast won't envious persons exceed
τῇ χαλεπότητι τῶν τρόπων;
in brutality of behavior?
Τί τῶν ἀνημέρων
Which untamed animal
οὐχ ὑπερβάλλουσιν ἀγριότητι;
won't they surpass in ferocity?
Οἱ κύνες τρεφόμενοι ἡμεροῦνται,
When dogs are fed, they become gentle,
οἱ λέοντες χειροήθεις
lions when their wounds are dressed
γίνονται θεραπευόμενοι,
become tractable,
οἱ δὲ βάσκανοι ταῖς θεραπείαις
but the envious by kind offices
πλέον ἐξαγριαίνονται.
are rendered more savage.
4. Τί τὸν γενναῖον Ἰωσὴφ
What was that the high-born Joseph
δοῦλον ἐποίησεν;
reduced to slavery?
Οὐχ ὁ φθόνος τῶν ἀδελφῶν;
Was it not the envy of his brethren?
Ἔνθα καὶ θαυμάσαι ἄξιον
And here it is worth while noting
τὴν ἀλογίαν τῆς νόσου.
the stupidity which this malady induces.
Φοβηθέντες γὰρ
Fearful that
τῶν ὀνειράτων τὴν ἔκβασιν,
his dream would come true,
δοῦλον ἐποίουν τὸν ἀδελφόν,
they made their brother a slave,
ὡς οὐκ ἄν ποτε δούλου προσκυνηθέντος.
thinking that a slave would have never been offered homage.
Καίτοι εἰ μὲν ἀληθῆ τὰ ἐνύπνια,
But then if dreams are true,
τίς μηχανὴ
what ruse will become
μὴ οὐχὶ πάντως ἐκβῆναι
to prevent from coming to pass
τὰ προρρηθέντα;
the events foretold?
Εἰ δὲ ψευδεῖς
If are false
αἱ τῶν ὀνειράτων ὄψεις,
the visions seen in dreams,
ἀντὶ τίνος βασκαίνεται
why be envious
τῷ σφαλλομένῳ;
of one who is under a delusion?
Νυνὶ δὲ
As it turned out
ὑπὸ τῆς τοῦ Θεοῦ οἰκονομίας
the providence of God
περιτρέπεται αὐτοῖς τὸ σοφόν.
has foiled their ingenuity.
∆ι' ὧν γὰρ ἐνόμιζον
Because the device by which they thought
ἐμποδίζειν τῇ προρρήσει,
they would forestall the prophecy,
διὰ τούτων ἐφάνησαν
proved to be the means
ὁδοποιοῦντες τὴν ἔκβασιν.
of clearing the way toward its fulfillment.
Εἰ γὰρ μὴ ἐπράθη,
If Joseph had not been sold,
οὐκ ἂν ἦλθεν εἰς Αἴγυπτον,
and had not gone to Egypt,
οὐκ ἂν διὰ σωφροσύνην
he would not, for chastity's sake
ταῖς ἐπιβουλαῖς τῆς ἀκολάστου γυναικὸς περιέπεσεν,
have fallen victim to the intrigues of an unchaste woman,
οὐκ ἂν ἐβλήθη εἰς δεσμωτήριον,
he would not have been cast into prison,
οὐκ ἂν ἐγένετο συνήθης
and he would not have become an intimate
τοῖς ὑπηρέταις τοῦ φαραὼ,
of Pharoah's ministers,
οὐδ' ἂν συνέβαλε τὰ ὀνείρατα,
nor would he have interpreted the dream,
ὅθεν τὴν ἀρχὴν ἐδέξατο τῆς Αἰγύπτου,
whereby he obtained the rule of Egypt,
καὶ διὰ τὴν σιτοδείαν
and because of the famine
ὑπὸ τῶν ἀδελφῶν αὐτοῦ
of his brethren
πρὸς αὐτὸν ἐλθόντων
who had recourse to him
προσεκυνήθη.
was accorded the homage.
Μετάβα τῷ λόγῳ
Let your thoughts turn now
ἐπὶ τὸν μέγιστον φθόνον,
to that very bitter envy,
καὶ ἐπὶ μεγίστοις συστάντα,
touching upon matters of the very highest importance,
ὃς ἐκ τῆς Ἰουδαίων μανίας
which the madness of the Jews
κατὰ τοῦ Σωτῆρος ἐγένετο.
caused to break out against the Saviour.
∆ιὰ τί ἐφθονεῖτο;
Why did they envy Him?
∆ιὰ τὰ θαύματα.
Because of His miracles.
Τίνες δὲ ἦσαν αἱ θαυματοποιίαι;
And what were these miraculous works?
Σωτηρία τῶν δεομένων·
The salvation of the needy;
ἐτρέφοντο οἱ πεινῶντες
the poor were fed
καὶ ὁ τρέφων ἐπολεμεῖτο,
and war was declared against Him who fed them,
ἠγείροντο οἱ νεκροὶ
the dead were restored to life
καὶ ὁ ζωοποιῶν ἐβασκαίνετο,
and He who gave them life was the object of envy,
δαίμονες ἀπηλαύνοντο
devils were driven out
καὶ ὁ ἐπιτάσσων ἐπεβουλεύετο,
and He who commanded them to depart was the victim of treachery,
λεπροὶ ἐκαθαρίζοντο
lepers were cleansed
καὶ χωλοὶ περιεπάτουν,
and the lame walked,
κωφοὶ ἤκουον
the deaf heard
καὶ τυφλοὶ ἀνέβλεπον,
and the blind saw,
καὶ ὁ εὐεργέτης ἐφυγαδεύετο.
and their Benefactor was cast out.
Καὶ τὸ τελευταῖον,
And finally,
θανάτῳ παρέδωκαν
they awarded death
τὸν τὴν ζωὴν χαρισάμενον,
to the generous Giver of Life,
καὶ ἐμαστίγουν
and they scourged
τὸν ἐλευθερωτὴν τῶν ἀνθρώπων
the Liberator of mankind
καὶ κατεδίκαζον
and condemned
τὸν κριτὴν τοῦ κόσμου.
the Judge of the world.
Οὕτω μέχρι πάντων διεξῆλθε
So He went through all
τὰ τοῦ φθόνου κακά.
the evils of envy.
Καὶ ἑνὶ τούτῳ ὅπλῳ
And with this weapon alone
ἀπὸ καταβολῆς ἀρξάμενος κόσμου
from the foundation of the world
μέχρι συντελείας αἰῶνος
until the consummation of the ages
πάντας τιτρώσκει καὶ καταβάλλει
has been inflicting wounds upon all men and striking them down
ὁ λυμεὼν τῆς ζωῆς ἡμῶν διάβολος,
the devil, the destroyer of our life,
ὁ χαίρων ἡμῶν τῇ ἀπωλείᾳ,
he who rejoices in our ruin,
ὁ καταπεσὼν διὰ τοῦ φθόνου
the one who fell because of envy
καὶ ἡμᾶς ἑαυτῷ
and who upon us
διὰ τοῦ ἴσου πάθους
through the same vice
συγκαταβάλλων.
brings our destruction.
Σοφὸς ἄρα ἦν,
Wise, therefore, was he,
ὁ τῷ βασκάνῳ ἀνδρὶ
who with an envious man
μηδὲ συνδειπνεῖν ἐπιτρέπων,
forbids us even to dine in company,
ἀπὸ τῆς ἐν τῷ δείπνῳ συνουσίας
and in mentioning this companionship at table
περὶ πάσης ὁμοῦ
to all other
τῆς κατὰ τὸν βίον κοινωνίας
social contacts in life as well
διαλεγόμενος.
he implies a reference.
Ὥσπερ γὰρ τὴν εὐκατάπρηστον ὕλην
Just as with material which is easily inflammable
ἐπιμελὲς ἡμῖν
we care
ὅτι πορρωτάτω τοῦ πυρὸς
as far away as possible from fire
ἀποτίθεσθαι,
to keep,
οὕτω χρή,
so we must,
καθ' ὅσον οἷόν τε,
insofar as we can,
τῆς τῶν βασκάνων ὁμιλίας
with the envious persons
τὰς φιλίας ἀπάγειν,
to avoid the friendship,
ἔξω τῶν τοῦ φθόνου βελῶν
beyond the range of their shafts of envy
ἑαυτοὺς ποιοῦντας.
thus placing ourselves.
Οὐδὲ γὰρ ἄλλως δυνατὸν
It is not possible otherwise
συμπλακῆναι τῷ φθόνῳ,
to be caught in the toils of envy,
μὴ δι' οἰκειότητος αὐτῷ προσεγγίσαντα.
unless we establish intimacy with the envious.
Ἐπείπερ κατὰ τὸν Σολομῶντος λόγον,
Also in the words of Solomon,
«Τῷ ἀνδρὶ ὁ ζῆλος
'A man is exposed to envy
παρὰ τοῦ ἑταίρου αὐτοῦ».
from his neighbor'.
Καὶ γὰρ οὕτως ἔχει.
And so it is.
Οὐχὶ τῷ Αἰγυπτίῳ βασκαίνει ὁ Σκύθης,
The Scythian is not envious of the Egyptian,
ἀλλὰ τῷ ὁμοεθνεῖ ἕκαστος·
but each of them envies a fellow countryman;
καὶ ἐν τῷ ὁμοεθνεῖ μέντοι
and among members of the same nation
οὐ τοῖς ἀγνοουμένοις φθονεῖ,
he does not envy those who are strangers,
ἀλλὰ τοῖς συνηθεστάτοις·
but his closest acquaintances;
καὶ τῶν συνήθων
and among acquaintances
τοῖς γείτοσι καὶ ὁμοτέχνοις,
he envies the neighbors and fellow workmen,
καὶ τοῖς ἄλλως οἰκείοις·
and those who are otherwise brought into close contact;
κἀν τούτοις πάλιν,
and among these again,
ἡλικιώταις καὶ συγγενέσι καὶ ἀδελφοῖς.
those of the same age and kinsmen and brothers.
Καὶ ὅλως,
In short,
ὥσπερ ἡ ἐρυσίβη
as the red blight
ἴδιόν ἐστι τοῦ σίτου νόσημα,
is a common pest to corn,
οὕτως ὁ φθόνος
so envy
φιλίας ἐστὶν ἀρρώστημα.
is the plague of friendship.
Ἐκεῖνό γε
This however
κἂν ἐπαινέσειέ τις
someone could apraise
τοῦ κακοῦ,
of this vice,
ὅτι ὅσῳπερ ἂν σφοδρότερος κινηθῇ,
that the more vigorously it has been aroused,
τοσούτῳ χαλεπώτερός ἐστι
the more troublesome it is
τῷ κεκτημένῳ.
to it's owner.
Ὥσπερ γὰρ τῶν βελῶν
Because as the arrows
τὰ βιαίως φερόμενα,
shot with great force,
ἐπειδὰν καρτερῷ τινι
when upon some a hard and tough
καὶ ἀντιτύπῳ προσπέσῃ,
and unyielding surface they strike,
ἐπὶ τὸν προέμενον ἐπανέρχεται,
come back upon the archer,
οὕτω καὶ τὰ τοῦ φθόνου κινήματα
so also do the movements of envy
οὐδὲν λυποῦντα τὸν βασκαινόμενον,
without causing any harm upon their object,
αὐτοῦ πληγαὶ γίνονται τοῦ βασκάνου.
they strike the envious person himself.
Τίς γὰρ λυπούμενος
Because who by his feelings of sadness
ἠλάττωσέ ποτε
ever diminished
τὰ τοῦ πλησίον καλά;
his neighbor's goods?
Ἑαυτὸν μέντοι προσηνάλωσε
Instead the envious person consumed himself
ταῖς λύπαις κατατηκόμενος.
through pining away with grief.
Ἤδη δὲ
However
καὶ τῶν ἰοβόλων αὐτῶν ὀλεθριώτεροι
even more dangerous than poisonous animals
εἶναι οἱ νοσοῦντες τὴν βασκανίαν
the persons who suffer from this malady of envy
ὑπονενόηνται,
are supposed to be,
εἴπερ τὰ μὲν
since these animals
διὰ πληγῆς ἐνίησι τὸν ἰόν,
inject their venom by piercing their victim,
καὶ κατὰ μικρὸν σηπεδόσι
and then, gradually, when putrefaction spreads
τὸ δηχθὲν ἐπινέμεται,
the infected area is destroyed,
τοὺς δὲ φθονερούς
about the envious persons
τινες οἴονται
some think
καὶ δι' ὀφθαλμῶν μόνων
that merely by a glance
τὴν βλάβην ἐπιβάλλειν·
they bring bad luck;
ὥστε τὰ εὐεκτικὰ σώματα
so that persons who enjoy good health
καὶ ἐκ τῆς κατὰ τὴν ἡλικίαν ἀκμῆς
and who due to the vigor of their prime time
εἰς τὴν ἄκραν ὥραν ὑπερανθήσαντα,
have reached the full flowering in beauty,
τήκεσθαι παρ' αὐτῶν καταβασκαινόμενα
are made to pine away under their envious spell
καὶ ὅλον ἀθρόως συναναιρεῖσθαι τὸν ὄγκον,
suddenly losing all their plumpness,
οἷον ῥεύματός τινος ὀλεθρίου
as if washed away by a destructive flood
ἐκ τῶν φθονερῶν ὀφθαλμῶν ἀπορρέοντος
which under the gaze of the envious
καὶ λυμαινομένου καὶ διαφθείροντος.
dwindles and wastes away.
Ἐγὼ δὲ
For my part
τοῦτον μὲν τὸν λόγον ἀποπέμπομαι,
I reject these tales,
ὡς δημώδη
as popular fancies
καὶ τῇ γυναικωνίτιδι παρεισαχθέντα
introduced within the female population
ὑπὸ γραϊδίων,
as old wives' gossip,
ἐκεῖνο δέ φημι,
but this I do say,
ὅτι οἱ μισόκαλοι δαίμονες,
that the demons who hate all that is good,
ἐπειδὰν οἰκείας ἑαυτοῖς εὕρωσι προαιρέσεις,
as they find congenial to them attitudes,
παντοίως αὐταῖς
them, by all means
πρὸς τὸ ἴδιον ἀποκέχρηνται βούλημα,
they use for their own ends,
ὥστε καὶ τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς τῶν βασκάνων
in a way that even the eyes of envious persons
εἰς ὑπηρεσίαν χρῆσθαι
they make serviceable
τοῦ ἰδίου θελήματος.
to their wishes.
Εἶτα οὐ φρίσσεις
And don't you shrink
ὑπηρέτην σεαυτὸν ποιῶν
from making of yourself a tool
δαίμονος ὀλεθρίου,
for the dread demon,
ἀλλ' ὑποδέχῃ κακόν,
and submitting to a wickedness,
δι' οὗ ἐχθρὸς μὲν γενήσῃ
with which you become an enemy
τῶν μηδὲν ἀδικούντων,
to persons who have not harmed you in any way,
ἐχθρὸς δὲ Θεοῦ
and an enemy of God
τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ καὶ ἀφθόνου;
who is good and in whom there is no envy?
5. Φύγωμεν κακὸν ἀφόρητον.
Let us fly from so abominable a vice.
Ὄφεώς ἐστι δίδαγμα,
It is a lesson taught by a serpent,
δαιμόνων εὕρημα,
an invention of demons,
ἐχθροῦ ἐπισπορὰ,
the seed of discord,
ἀρραβὼν κολάσεως,
a pledge of punishment,
ἐμπόδιον εὐσεβείας,
a barrier to holiness,
ὁδὸς ἐπὶ γέενναν,
a path to hell,
στέρησις βασιλείας.
a cause of losing heaven.
∆ῆλοι δέ
Clearly recognizable
πως καὶ αὐτῷ τῷ προσώπῳ
even by their very faces
τυγχάνουσιν οἱ φθονοῦντες.
the envious can be.
Ὄμμα τούτοις
The gaze in their eyes
ξηρὸν καὶ ἀλαμπές,
is dry and lustreless,
παρειὰ κατηφής,
their face shivering,
ὁφρὺς συμπεπτωκυῖα,
their brow contracted,
ἡ ψυχὴ τῷ πάθει συγκεχυμένη,
their mind is distorted by their passion,
τὸ τῆς ἀληθείας κριτήριον
and the criterion of the truth
ἐπὶ τῶν πραγμάτων
in handling their affairs
οὐκ ἔχουσα.
does not possess.
Οὐ πρᾶξις κατ' ἀρετὴν
No work of virtue
ἐπαινετὴ παρ' ἐκείνοις,
is praiseworthy in their view,
οὐ λόγου δύναμις
nor any eloquence
σεμνότητι κεκοσμημένη καὶ χάρισιν,
even though it be adorned with dignity and grace,
οὐκ ἄλλο τι
nor anything else
τῶν ζηλωτῶν καὶ περιβλέπτων οὐδέν.
that deserves emulation and esteem.
Ὥσπερ δὲ οἱ γῦπες
As vultures
πρὸς τὰ δυσώδη φέρονται,
are attracted to ill-smelling places,
πολλοὺς μὲν λειμῶνας,
while over meadow after meadow,
πολλοὺς δὲ ἡδεῖς καὶ εὐώδεις τόπους
and many pleasant and fragrant regions
ὑπεριπτάμενοι,
are flying over,
καὶ αἱ μυῖαι
and as the flies
τὸ μὲν ὑγιαῖνον παρατρέχουσι,
who pass by the healthy,
πρὸς δὲ τὸ ἕλκος ἐπείγονται,
and swarm eagerly to an ulcer,
οὕτως οἱ βάσκανοι,
so the envious,
τὰς μὲν τοῦ βίου λαμπρότητας
the bright things in life
καὶ τὰ μεγέθη τῶν κατορθουμένων
and the loftiness of good actions
οὐδὲ προσβλέπουσι,
they don't even observe,
τοῖς δὲ σαθροῖς ἐπιτίθενται·
while they attack the weaknesses;
κἄν τι προσπταῖσαι συμβῇ,
If anything should go amiss,
οἷα πολλὰ τὰ ἀνθρώπινα,
as human affairs often do,
τοῦτο δημοσιεύουσι
this they publish abroad
καὶ ἀπὸ τούτων
and about these mistakes
τοὺς ἄνδρας γνωρίζειν βούλονται·
they wish to form opinion upon people;
ὥσπερ οἱ πονηροὶ τῶν ζωγράφων
they are like incompetent painters
ἀπὸ τῆς ἐνδιαστρόφου ῥινὸς,
who by a twisted nose,
ἢ ἀπό τινος οὐλῆς ἢ κολοβώματος
or a scar, or some deformity
ἐκ φύσεως ἢ ἐκ πάθους ἐπισυμβάντος
that happened due to natural causes or some accident
τὰς μορφὰς τῶν γραφομένων
the identity of the figures in their drawings
ἀποσημαίνοντες.
choose to show.
∆εινοὶ δὲ
Skilled are the envious persons
ταῖς εἰς τὸ χεῖρον παρατροπαῖς
by means of unflattering distortions
τὸ ἐπαινετὸν διαπτύσαι,
in making what is praiseworthy seern despicable,
καὶ ἐκ τῆς γείτονος κακίας
and through the vice neighboring to it
τὴν ἀρετὴν διαβαλεῖν.
in slandering virtue.
Θρασὺν μὲν γὰρ λέγουσι τὸν ἀνδρεῖον,
Reckless they call the courageous man,
ἀνάλγητον δὲ τὸν σώφρονα,
callous the temperate,
τὸν δίκαιον ἀπηνῆ,
the just man severe,
κακοῦργον τὸν φρόνιμον.
cunning the clever man.
Καὶ τὸν μεγαλοπρεπῆ μὲν
And a person of lavish tastes
ὡς βάναυσον διαβάλλουσι,
they slander as vulgar,
τὸν ἐλευθέριον δὲ ὡς ἄσωτον·
the liberal is considered wasteful;
πάλιν τὸν οἰκονομικόν, φειδωλόν.
and again the thrifty is called niggardly.
Καὶ ὅλως,
In general,
πάντα τὰ τῆς ἀρετῆς εἴδη
for all forms of virtue
οὐκ ἀπορεῖ παρ' αὐτοῖς
there exist no difficulty in them
ὀνόματος ἐκ τῆς ἀντικειμένης κακίας
with a name taken over from its opposite vice
μετενεχθέντος.
to invariably supply them.
Τί οὖν;
What then?
ἐν τῇ κατηγορίᾳ τοῦ κακοῦ
To the denunciation of this vice
τὸν λόγον στήσομεν;
shall we limit the discourse?
Ἀλλὰ τοῦτο
But this
ὥσπερ ἥμισύ τί ἐστι
as it were would be half
τῆς ἰατρείας.
of the cure.
Τὸ μὲν γὰρ δεῖξαι τῷ κάμνοντι
Because to show a sick man
τῆς νόσου τὸ μέγεθος,
the seriousness of his malady,
ὥστε ἀξίαν ἐμποιῆσαι αὐτῷ
with a view to inculcating a proper
τοῦ κακοῦ τὴν φροντίδα,
concern for his condition,
οὐκ ἄχρηστον,
is not useless,
τὸ δὲ ἄχρι τούτου καταλιπεῖν,
but to abandon him at this point,
μὴ πρὸς τὴν ὑγίειαν χειραγωγήσαντα,
and not guide him toward health,
οὐδὲν ἕτερόν ἐστιν ἢ ἔκδοτον ἀφεῖναι
is tantamount to giving over entirely
τῇ ἀρρωστίᾳ τὸν κάμνοντα.
the sick man to his infirmity.
Τί οὖν;
What then is to be done?
πῶς ἂν μὴ πάθοιμεν ἐξ ἀρχῆς τὴν νόσον,
How might we avoid becoming affected by this disease,
ἢ ὑπαχθέντες ἐκφύγοιμεν;
and how, after we have contracted it, might we be cured?
Εἰ πρῶτον μὲν μηδὲν μέγα,
First, by not regarding as either great,
μηδὲ ὑπερφυὲς τῶν ἀνθρωπίνων κρίνοιμεν·
or admirable the things of the human world;
μὴ εὐπορίαν τὴν ἐν ἀνθρώποις,
neither human prosperity,
μὴ δόξαν τὴν ἀπανθοῦσαν,
nor the passing glory,
μὴ σώματος εὐεξίαν.
nor the health of body.
Οὐ γὰρ ἐν τοῖς παρερχομένοις ὁριζόμεθα
Because we do not limit in terms of these transitory things
εἶναι τὸ ἀγαθόν,
our highest good,
ἀλλ' ἐπὶ αἰωνίων ἀγαθῶν καὶ ἀληθινῶν
but in possessions that are true and eternal
μετουσίαν κεκλήμεθα.
we are called to participate.
Ὥστε ὁ πλουτῶν
Thus the rich man
οὔπω ζηλωτός ἐστι
is not enviable
διὰ τὸν πλοῦτον,
because of his wealth,
οὐχ ὁ δυνάστης
nor the ruler
διὰ τὸν ὄγκον τοῦ ἀξιώματος,
because of the grandeur of his exalted position,
οὐχ ὁ ἰσχυρὸς
nor the strong man
διὰ τὴν ῥώμην τοῦ σώματος,
because of his physical vigor,
οὐχ ὁ σοφὸς
nor the learned man
διὰ τὴν τοῦ λόγου περιουσίαν.
because of his great power of eloquence.
Ὄργανα γάρ ἐστι ταῦτα τῆς ἀρετῆς
These are instruments for practicing virtue
τοῖς καλῶς κεχρημένοις,
to those who use them well,
οὐκ αὐτὰ ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἔχοντα τὸ μακάριον.
they do not in themselves contain any intrinsic good.
Ὁ μὲν οὖν
Because the man
κακῶς αὐτοῖς κεχρημένος
who makes bad use of them
ἐλεεινὸς,
is to be pitied,
ὡς ὁ τῷ ξίφει,
as being like a person with the sword,
ὃ ἔλαβε πρὸς τὴν τῶν πολεμίων ἄμυναν,
which has received as defense against his enemies,
τούτῳ ἑκουσίως ἑαυτὸν κατατιτρώσκων.
with it voluntarily wounds himself.
Εἰ δὲ καλῶς
But if well
καὶ κατὰ τὸν ὀρθὸν λόγον
and according to right reason
τὰ παρόντα μεταχειρίζεται,
the man administers his possessions,
καὶ οἰκονόμος ἐστὶ τῶν παρὰ Θεοῦ,
and acts as a steward of the goods received from God,
οὐχὶ δὲ πρὸς ἰδίαν ἀπόλαυσιν θησαυρίζει,
and does not amass wealth for his own private enjoyment,
ἐπαινεῖσθαι καὶ ἀγαπᾶσθαι δίκαιός ἐστι
he is justly accorded praise and affection
διὰ τὸ φιλάδελφον καὶ κοινωνικὸν
because of his charity to his brethren and the benevolence
τοῦ τρόπου.
of his character.
Πάλιν φρονήσει τις διαφέρει
Again a man may excel in mental acuteness
καὶ λόγῳ Θεοῦ τετίμηται
and may possess eloquence in discoursing about God
καὶ ἐξηγητής ἐστιν ἱερῶν λογίων·
and is an interpreter of His sacred words;
μὴ φθονήσῃς τῷ τοιούτῳ,
do not envy him for it,
μηδὲ βουληθῇς ποτε σιωπῆσαι
and do not ever want to silence
τὸν τῶν ἱερῶν λόγων ὑποφήτην,
the interpreter of the Sacred Scripture,
εἰ τῇ τοῦ Πνεύματος χάριτι
if, by the grace of the Holy Spirit
ἀποδοχή τις καὶ ἔπαινος
some favor and praise thereby
ἐκ τῶν ἀκουόντων ἀκολουθεῖ.
he wins from his hearers.
Σὸν γάρ ἐστι τὸ ἀγαθὸν
Because the benefit is yours
καὶ σοὶ ἐπέμφθη
and is sent to you
διὰ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ τῆς διδασκαλίας τὸ δῶρον,
through the gift of doctrine of your brother,
ἐὰν ὑποδέξασθαι θέλῃς.
if you are willing to accept it.
Εἶτα,
Besides,
πηγὴν μὲν βρύουσαν
a gushing spring
οὐδεὶς ἐμφράσσει·
no one dams it up;
καὶ ἡλίου λάμποντος
and when the sun is shining
οὐδεὶς τὰς ὄψεις ἐπικαλύπτει,
no one wears a blindfold,
οὐδὲ βασκαίνει ἐκείνοις,
or envies these things,
ἀλλ' ἑαυτῷ συνεύχεται τὴν ἀπόλαυσιν.
but he prays that he, too, may enjoy this blessing.
Λόγου δὲ πνευματικοῦ
And when the stream of doctrine
ἐν Ἐκκλησίᾳ βρύοντος,
when is gushing forth in the Church,
καὶ καρδίας εὐσεβοῦς
and of a devout heart
ἐκ τῶν χαρισμάτων τοῦ Πνεύματος
with the gifts of the Holy Spirit
πηγαζούσης,
it is welling up,
οὐχ ὑπέχεις τὰς ἀκοὰς
don't you give your full attention
μετ' εὐφροσύνης;
with joy?
οὐκ εὐχαρίστως ὑποδέχῃ
Don't you receive with thanksgiving
τὴν ὠφέλειαν;
this favor?
Ἀλλὰ δάκνει σε
Yet it stings you
ὁ κρότος τῶν ἀκουόντων,
the applause of the audience,
καὶ ἐβουλήθης ἂν
and you would prefer
μήτε τὸν ὠφελούμενον εἶναι,
that there would be neither receiving benefit,
μήτε τὸν ἐπαινοῦντα.
nor praise given.
Τίνα ταῦτα ἀπολογίαν ἕξει
What excuse will you have for this
ἐπὶ τοῦ κριτοῦ τῶν καρδιῶν ἡμῶν;
before the Judge of our hearts?
Φύσει μὲν οὖν εἶναι καλὸν
As good therefore by nature
ἡγεῖσθαι χρὴ
we must regard
τὸ τῆς ψυχῆς ἀγαθόν,
the good that is of the soul,
τὸν δὲ ὑπερανθοῦντα τῷ πλούτῳ
and the one who flourishes because of his riches
καὶ δυναστείᾳ μέγα φρονοῦντα
and who takes pride in his position of sovereignty
καὶ εὐεξίᾳ σώματος
and in his vigor of body
καὶ καλῶς μὲν κεχρημένον οἷς ἔχει,
and ho makes the right use of what he has,
ἀγαπᾷν καὶ περιέπειν,
we ought to love and honor him,
ὡς κοινὰ τὰ τοῦ βίου ὄργανα κεκτημένον,
as being supplied with the common means to live,
εἴπερ δὴ ταῦτα
if these things of course
κατὰ τὸν ὀρθὸν λόγον
with righteousness
μεταχειρίζοιτο,
he administers,
ὡς τῇ μὲν τῶν χρημάτων χορηγίᾳ
because through the generocity of his wealth
ἄφθονος εἶναι τοῖς δεομένοις,
he is giving of his abundance to the needy,
τῷ σώματι δὲ
and through his body
ὑπηρεσίαν παρέχειν
he offers physical assistance
τοῖς ἀσθενοῦσι,
to the infirm,
πᾶσαν δὲ τὴν λοιπὴν περιουσίαν
and the rest of his wealth
οὐ μᾶλλον ἑαυτοῦ νομίζειν,
he doesn't consider as only belonging to him,
ἢ καὶ οὑτινοσοῦν
as to any other destitute person
τῶν ἐπιδεομένων,
among those who are in need,
τὸν δὲ
the man however
μὴ οὕτω πρὸς ταῦτα διακείμενον,
who does not adopt this view,
ἄθλιον τίθεσθαι μᾶλλον
rather ought to be considered wretched
ἢ ἐπίφθονον,
than enviable,
εἰ μείζονας ἔχει
because he meets with stronger
πρὸς τὸ κακὸς εἶναι
towards evil
τὰς ἀφορμάς.
inducements.
Τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν
Because this means
ἐκ πλείονος τῆς παρασκευῆς
at the cost of great exertion
καὶ πραγματείας
and painstaking labor
ἀπόλλυσθαι.
of losing one's soul.
Εἰ μὲν γὰρ
Because if
ἐφόδιον πρὸς ἀδικίαν
an instrument for perpetuating injustice
ὁ πλοῦτος,
wealth is,
ἐλεεινὸς ὁ πλουτῶν·
then pitiable is the rich man;
εἰ δὲ ὑπηρεσία πρὸς ἀρετὴν,
but if it serves as an aid to virtue,
οὐκ ἔχει χώραν ἡ βασκανία,
then envy is out of place,
κοινῆς τῆς ἀπ' αὐτῶν ὠφελείας
since a common benefit from that wealth
ἅπασι προκειμένης·
for all others may derive;
πλὴν εἰ μή τις
unless, perhaps, someone
ἄρα τῇ περιουσίᾳ τῆς πονηρίας
who by an excess of malice
καὶ ἑαυτῷ βασκαίνοι τῶν ἀγαθῶν.
would envy even himself for his goods.
Ὅλως δὲ,
To sum up,
ὑπερκύψας τῷ λογισμῷ τὰ ἀνθρώπινα
if you raise your thoughts about human things
καὶ πρὸς τὸ ὄντως καλὸν καὶ ἐπαινετὸν ἀπιδών,
and you put your sight in the truly noble and praiseworthy,
πολλοῦ ἄν τι δέοις
you will still be very far
τῶν φθαρτῶν καὶ γηίνων
from the perishable earthly goods
μακαριστὸν κρῖναι καὶ ζηλωτόν.
to regarding as objects for covetousness or envy.
Οὕτω δὲ ἔχοντι,
In a person so disposed,
καὶ μὴ ὡς ἐπὶ μεγάλοις ἐκπεπληγμένῳ τοῖς κοσμικοῖς,
for he is not obsessed with the craving for worldly goods,
ἀμήχανόν ποτε παραγενέσθαι τὸν φθόνον.
it is impossible ever that envy should be present.
Εἰ δὲ πάντως δόξης ἐπιθυμεῖς
At all events, if you are desirous of glory
καὶ βούλει τῶν πολλῶν ὑπερφαίνεσθαι,
and wish to outshine the crowd,
καὶ διὰ τοῦτο
and for this reason
οὐκ ἀνέχῃ δεύτερος εἶναι
you cannot bear to hold second place
(ἔστι γὰρ οὖν δὴ καὶ τοῦτο
(for this, too, is likely
πρὸς τὸ φθονεῖν ἀφορμή),
to furnish occasion for envy),
σὺ δὲ ἐπὶ τὴν κτῆσιν τῆς ἀρετῆς,
you better toward the acquisition of virtue,
ὥσπερ τι ῥεῦμα,
as one would change the course of a stream,
μετάθες σεαυτοῦ τὸ φιλότιμον.
turn your aspirations.
Μὴ γὰρ πάντως πλουτεῖν
In any case, accumulating wealth
ἐκ παντὸς τρόπου βούλου,
at all costs do not desire,
μηδὲ εὐδόκιμος εἶναι
and do not thrive
ἐκ τῶν τοῦ κόσμου πραγμάτων.
through owning worldly goods.
Οὐ γὰρ ἐπὶ σοὶ ταῦτα,
For these things are not under your control,
ἀλλὰ δίκαιος ἔσο
but be just
καὶ σώφρων
and temperate
καὶ φρόνιμος
and wise
καὶ ἀνδρεῖος
and brave
καὶ ὑπομονητικὸς
and patient
ἐν τοῖς ὑπὲρ εὐσεβείας παθήμασιν.
in the sufferings you endure in the name of piety.
Οὕτω γὰρ καὶ σεαυτὸν σώσεις
In this way you will win salvation for yourself
καὶ ἐπὶ μείζοσιν ἀγαθοῖς
and for higher goods
μείζονα ἕξεις τὴν περιφάνειαν.
you will acquire more glory.
Ἡ μὲν γὰρ ἀρετὴ
Because virtue
ἐφ' ἡμῖν,
is within our power,
καὶ δυνατὴ κτηθῆναι τῷ φιλοπόνῳ,
and can be acquired by one who labors earnestly for it,
ἡ δὲ τῶν χρημάτων περιβολὴ
a large fortune however
καὶ ὥρα σώματος
and the physical vigor or beauty
καὶ ὄγκος ἀξιωμάτων,
or a high rank of dignity,
οὐκ ἐφ' ἡμῖν.
are not at our command.
Εἰ τοίνυν
If then
καὶ μεῖζον ἀγαθὸν ἡ ἀρετὴ
virtue is a greater good
καὶ διαρκέστερον,
and more lasting,
καὶ ὁμολογουμένην παρὰ πάντων
and is acknowledged by everyone
ἔχουσα τὴν προτίμησιν,
as being preferable,
ταύτην ἡμῖν διωκτέον·
virtue is what we should strive to acquire;
ἣν ἐγγενέσθαι τῇ ψυχῇ,
it's presence however in a soul,
ἀπό τε τῶν ἄλλων παθῶν
which of all other passions
καὶ μάλιστα δὴ πάντων
and especially
ἀπὸ τῆς βασκανίας μὴ καθαρευούσῃ,
of envy is not clean,
ἀμήχανον.
is impossible.
6. Οὐχ ὁρᾷς ἡλίκον κακὸν ἡ ὑπόκρισις;
Can't you see how great an evil hypocrisy is?
Καὶ αὕτη καρπός ἐστι τοῦ φθόνου.
And it is as well the fruit of envy.
Τὸ γὰρ διπλοῦν τοῦ ἤθους
Because this double-dealing
ἐκ φθόνου μάλιστα τοῖς ἀνθρώποις ἐγγίνεται,
is mainly caused by envy among men,
ὅταν τὸ μῖσος ἐν τῷ βάθει κατέχοντες,
when while keeping their hatred deeply hidden within,
ἀγάπῃ δεικνύωσι κατακεχρωσμένην τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν,
they maintain an outward semblance of charity,
κατὰ τὰς ὑφάλους πέτρας,
like rocks under the surface of the sea,
αἳ βραχεῖ ὕδατι καλυπτόμεναι,
which, being covered with shallow water,
κακὸν ἀπροόρατον τοῖς ἀφυλάκτοις γίνονται.
bring unforeseen disaster to the unwary.
Εἰ τοίνυν
If then
καὶ θάνατος ἡμῖν ἐκεῖθεν
also death for us comes from there
ὥσπερ ἐκ πηγῆς ἐπερρύη,
and flows toward us as from a fountain,
ἀγαθῶν ἔκπτωσις,
also the loss of the goods,
Θεοῦ ἀλλοτρίωσις,
the estrangement from God,
θεσμῶν σύγχυσις
the transgression of the law
καὶ ἀνατροπὴ πάντων ὁμοῦ
and at the complete ruin
τῶν κατὰ τὸν βίον καλῶν,
of earthly prosperity,
πεισθῶμεν τῷ Ἀποστόλῳ,
let us obey the Apostle,
καὶ «Μὴ γενώμεθα κενόδοξοι,
and 'Let us not be made desirous of vainglory,
ἀλλήλους προκαλούμενοι,
provoking one another,
ἀλλήλοις φθονοῦντες,
and envying one another;
ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον χρηστοί,
but rather be kind,
εὔσπλαγχνοι,
merciful,
χαριζόμενοι ἑαυτοῖς,
forgiving one another,
ὡς καὶ ὁ Θεὸς ἐχαρίσατο ἡμῖν»,
even as God hath forgiven us,
ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ Κυρίῳ ἡμῶν,
in Christ Jesus, our Lord,
μεθ' οὗ ἡ δόξα τῷ Πατρὶ,
to whom be glory together with the Father,
σὺν τῷ ἁγίῳ Πνεύματι,
and with the Holy Spirit,
εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων.
for ever and ever.
Ἀμήν.
Amen.