...virtue in active exercise cannot be inoperative"it will of necessity act, and act well. And just as at the Olympic games the wreaths of victory are not bestowed upon the handsomest and strongest persons present, but on men who enter for the competitions"since it is among these that the winners are found,"so it is those who act rightly who carry off the prizes and good things of life.
... actions in conformity with virtue must be essentially pleasant. But they are also of course both good and noble, and each in the highest degree, if the good man judges them rightly; and his judgement is as we have said. It follows therefore that happiness is at once the best, the noblest, and the pleasantest of things: these qualities are not separated as the inscription at Delos makes out:
“Justice is noblest, and health is best,
But the heart's desire is the pleasantest",
for the best activities possess them all; and it is the best activities, or one activity which is the best of all, in which according to our definition happiness consists. Nevertheless it is manifest that happiness also requires external goods in addition, as we said; for it is impossible, or at least not easy, to play a noble part unless furnished with the necessary equipment.
As they were thus talking, a dog that had been lying asleep raised his head and pricked up his ears. This was Argos, whom Odysseus had bred before setting out for Troy, but he had never had any work out of him. In the old days he used to be taken out by the young men when they went hunting wild goats, or deer, or hares, but now that his master was gone he was lying neglected on the heaps of mule and cow dung that lay in front of the stable doors till the men should come and draw it away to manure the great field; and he was full of fleas. As soon as he saw Odysseus standing there, he dropped his ears and wagged his tail, but he could not get close up to his master. When Odysseus saw the dog on the other side of the yard, dashed a tear from his eyes without Eumaios seeing it, and said:
"Eumaios, what a noble hound that is over yonder on the manure heap: his build is splendid; is he as fine a fellow as he looks, or is he only one of those dogs that come begging about a table, and are kept merely for show?"
"This hound," answered Eumaios, "belonged to him who has died in a far country. If he were what he was when Odysseus left for Troy, he would soon show you what he could do. There was not a wild beast in the forest that could get away from him when he was once on its tracks. But now he has fallen on evil times, for his master is dead and gone, and the women take no care of him. Servants never do their work when their master's hand is no longer over them, for Zeus takes half the goodness [aretê] out of a man when he makes a slave of him."
As he spoke he went inside the buildings to the room where the suitors were, but Argos died as soon as he had recognized his master.
Can anyone elaborate this part..... "that adapts ancient philosophic ideals to the daily concerns and dilemmas of modern life" ?
what its trying to say ?
All one can say is that the definition of happiness used by Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics, where happiness is the highest good and the end at which all our activities ultimately aim is translated into how to live a good life in modern terms.