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Section 6

6. Well, but take the unhappy man: must not increase of time bring an increase of his unhappiness? Do not all troubles- long-lasting pains, sorrows, and everything of that type- yield a greater sum of misery in the longer time? And if thus in misery the evil is augmented by time why should not time equally augment happiness when all is well?

In the matter of sorrows and pains there is, no doubt, ground for saying that time brings increase: for example, in a lingering malady the evil hardens into a state, and as time goes on the body is brought lower and lower. But if the constitution did not deteriorate, if the mischief grew no worse, then, here too, there would be no trouble but that of the present moment: we cannot tell the past into the tale of unhappiness except in the sense that it has gone to make up an actually existing state- in the sense that, the evil in the sufferer's condition having been extended over a longer time, the mischief has gained ground. The increase of ill-being then is due to the aggravation of the malady not to the extension of time.

It may be pointed out also that this greater length of time is not a thing existent at any given moment; and surely a "more" is not to be made out by adding to something actually present something that has passed away.

No: true happiness is not vague and fluid: it is an unchanging state.

If there is in this matter any increase besides that of mere time, it is in the sense that a greater happiness is the reward of a higher virtue: this is not counting up to the credit of happiness the years of its continuance; it is simply noting the high-water mark once for all attained.

Next: Section 7