VS16 Source in Vat.gr.1950 manuscript

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    VS16 is the last saying on folio 402r

    Usual transcription is:

    No one who sees what is bad chooses it willingly; instead he is lured into seeing it as good compared to what is even worse, and thus he is trapped.

    Οὐδεὶς βλέπων τὸ κακὸν αἱρεῖται αὐτό, ἀλλὰ δελεασθεὶς ὡς ἀγαθῷ πρὸς τὸ μεῖζον αὐτοῦ κακὸν ἐθηρεύθη.

  • This seems to be reflected in a way in what Torquatus said in Book One:

    "Surely no one recoils from or dislikes or avoids pleasure in itself because it is pleasure, but because great pains come upon those who do not know how to follow pleasure rationally.

    Nor again is there any one who loves or pursues or wishes to win pain on its own account, merely because it is pain, but rather because circumstances sometimes occur which compel him to seek some great pleasure at the cost of exertion and pain. To come down to petty details, who among us ever undertakes any toilsome bodily exercise, except in the hope of gaining some advantage from it? Who again would have any right to reproach either a man who desires to be surrounded by pleasure unaccompanied by any annoyance, or another man who shrinks from any pain which is not productive of pleasure?"