28 October 2011

ONE HUNDRED NINETY FIFTH

[Whether Confidence belongs to Magnanimity?]

Confidence takes its name from "fides" [faith]: and it belongs to faith to believe something and in somebody. But confidence belongs to hope, according to Job 11:18, "Thou shalt have confidence, hope being set before thee." Wherefore confidence apparently denotes chiefly that a man derives hope through believing the word of one who promises to help him. Since, however, faith signifies also a strong opinion, and since one may come to have a strong opinion about something, not only on account of another's statement, but also on account of something we observe in another, it follows that confidence may denote the hope of having something, which hope we conceive through observing something either in oneself--for instance, through observing that he is healthy, a man is confident that he will live long. or in another, for instance, through observing that another is friendly to him and powerful, a man is confident that he will receive help from him.  Now it has been stated above (1, ad 2) that magnanimity, which by its very name denotes stretching forth of the mind to great things, is chiefly about the hope of something difficult. Wherefore, since confidence denotes a certain strength of hope arising from some observation which gives one a strong opinion that one will obtain a certain good, it follows that confidence belongs to magnanimity.