Familiar Quotations
by John Bartlett
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[719-1] This is alluded to by Cicero in his letters to Atticus, and is mentioned by AElian (Animated Nature, book vi. chap. 41). It is like our proverb, "Rats leave a sinking ship."

[719-2] See Burton, page 186.

Not unlike the bear which bringeth forth In the end of thirty dayes a shapeless birth; But after licking, it in shape she drawes, And by degrees she fashions out the pawes, The head, and neck, and finally doth bring To a perfect beast that first deformed thing.

DU BARTAS: Divine Weekes and Workes, first week, first day.

[719-3] See Phaedrus, page 715.

[719-4] See Shakespeare, page 152.

[720-1] See Publius Syrus, page 708.

[720-2] A maxim of Cato.

[720-3] See Shakespeare, page 46. Also Lover, page 583.

Numero deus impare gaudet (The god delights in odd numbers).—VIRGIL: Eclogae, 8, 75.

[720-4] Nulla dies abeat, quin linea ducta supersit.—ERASMUS.

The form generally quoted, "Nulla dies sine linea" (No day without a line), is not attested.

[721-1] Ne supra crepidam sutor judicaret (Let not a shoemaker judge above his shoe).

QUINTILIAN. 42-118 A. D.

We give to necessity the praise of virtue.[721-2]

Institutiones Oratoriae, i. 8, 14.

A liar should have a good memory.[721-3]

Institutiones Oratoriae, iv. 2, 91.

Vain hopes are often like the dreams of those who wake.[721-4]

Institutiones Oratoriae, vi. 2, 30.

Those who wish to appear wise among fools, among the wise seem foolish.[721-5]

Institutiones Oratoriae, x. 7, 21.


[721-2] See Chaucer, page 3.

[721-3] See Sidney, page 264.

[721-4] See Prior, page 288.

[721-5] See Pope, page 332.

JUVENAL. 47-138 A. D.

No man ever became extremely wicked all at once.[721-6]

Satire ii. 83.

Grammarian, orator, geometrician; painter, gymnastic teacher, physician; fortune-teller, rope-dancer, conjuror,—he knew everything.[721-7]

Satire iii. 76.

Nobility is the one only virtue.[721-8]

Satire viii. 20.


[721-6] See Beaumont and Fletcher, page 197.

[721-7] See Dryden, page 268.

[721-8] See Percy, page 406.

MARTIAL. 40-102 A. D.

I do not love thee, Sabidius, nor can I say why; this only I can say, I do not love thee.[722-1]

Epigram i. 32.

The good man prolongs his life; to be able to enjoy one's past life is to live twice.[722-2]

Epigram x. 23, 7.

The bee enclosed and through the amber shown Seems buried in the juice which was his own.[722-3]

Book iv. 32.

Neither fear, nor wish for, your last day.[722-4]

Book x. 47, 13.


[722-1] See Brown, page 286.

[722-2] See Pope, page 336.

[722-3] See Bacon, page 168.

[722-4] See Milton, page 240.

PLUTARCH. 46(?)-120(?) A. D.

(From Dryden's translation of Plutarch's Lives, corrected and revised by A. H. Clough.)

As geographers, Sosius, crowd into the edges of their maps parts of the world which they do not know about, adding notes in the margin to the effect that beyond this lies nothing but sandy deserts full of wild beasts, and unapproachable bogs.[722-5]

Life of Theseus.

From Themistocles began the saying, "He is a second Hercules."

Life of Theseus.

The most perfect soul, says Heraclitus, is a dry light, which flies out of the body as lightning breaks from a cloud.

Life of Romulus.

Anacharsis coming to Athens, knocked at Solon's door, and told him that he, being a stranger, was come to be his guest, and contract a friendship with him; and Solon replying, "It is better to make friends at home," Anacharsis replied, "Then you that are at home make friendship with me."

Life of Solon.

Themistocles said that he certainly could not make use of any stringed instrument; could only, were a small and obscure city put into his hands, make it great and glorious.

Life of Themistocles.

Eurybiades lifting up his staff as if he were going to strike, Themistocles said, "Strike, if you will; but hear."[723-1]

Life of Themistocles.

Themistocles said to Antiphales, "Time, young man, has taught us both a lesson."

Life of Themistocles.

Laughing at his own son, who got his mother, and by his mother's means his father also, to indulge him, he told him that he had the most power of any one in Greece: "For the Athenians command the rest of Greece, I command the Athenians, your mother commands me, and you command your mother."[723-2]

Life of Themistocles.

"You speak truth," said Themistocles; "I should never have been famous if I had been of Seriphus;[723-3] nor you, had you been of Athens."

Life of Themistocles.

Themistocles said that a man's discourse was like to a rich Persian carpet, the beautiful figures and patterns of which can be shown only by spreading and extending it out; when it is contracted and folded up, they are obscured and lost.[723-4]

Life of Themistocles.

When he was in great prosperity, and courted by many, seeing himself splendidly served at his table, he turned to his children and said: "Children, we had been undone, if we had not been undone."

Life of Themistocles.

Moral good is a practical stimulus; it is no sooner seen than it inspires an impulse to practise.

Life of Pericles.

For ease and speed in doing a thing do not give the work lasting solidity or exactness of beauty.[724-1]

Life of Pericles.

So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history.

Life of Pericles.

Be ruled by time, the wisest counsellor of all.

Life of Pericles.

To conduct great matters and never commit a fault is above the force of human nature.

Life of Fabius.

Menenius Agrippa concluded at length with the celebrated fable: "It once happened that all the other members of a man mutinied against the stomach, which they accused as the only idle, uncontributing part in the whole body, while the rest were put to hardships and the expense of much labour to supply and minister to its appetites."

Life of Coriolanus.

Knowledge of divine things for the most part, as Heraclitus says, is lost to us by incredulity.

Life of Coriolanus.

A Roman divorced from his wife, being highly blamed by his friends, who demanded, "Was she not chaste? Was she not fair? Was she not fruitful?" holding out his shoe, asked them whether it was not new and well made. "Yet," added he, "none of you can tell where it pinches me."

Life of AEmilius Paulus.

The saying of old Antigonus, who when he was to fight at Andros, and one told him, "The enemy's ships are more than ours," replied, "For how many then wilt thou reckon me?"[725-1]

Life of Pelopidas.

Archimedes had stated, that given the force, any given weight might be moved; and even boasted that if there were another earth, by going into it he could remove this.

Life of Marcellus.

It is a difficult task, O citizens, to make speeches to the belly, which has no ears.[725-2]

Life of Marcus Cato.

Cato used to assert that wise men profited more by fools than fools by wise men; for that wise men avoided the faults of fools, but that fools would not imitate the good examples of wise men.

Life of Marcus Cato.

He said that in his whole life he most repented of three things: one was that he had trusted a secret to a woman; another, that he went by water when he might have gone by land; the third, that he had remained one whole day without doing any business of moment.

Life of Marcus Cato.

Marius said, "I see the cure is not worth the pain."[725-3]

Life of Caius Marius.

Extraordinary rains pretty generally fall after great battles.[725-4]

Life of Caius Marius.

Lysander said that the law spoke too softly to be heard in such a noise of war.

Life of Caius Marius.

As it is in the proverb, played Cretan against Cretan.[725-5]

Life of Lysander.

Did you not know, then, that to-day Lucullus sups with Lucullus?

Life of Lucullus.

It is no great wonder if in long process of time, while fortune takes her course hither and thither, numerous coincidences should spontaneously occur. If the number and variety of subjects to be wrought upon be infinite, it is all the more easy for fortune, with such an abundance of material, to effect this similarity of results.[726-1]

Life of Sertorius.

Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little.

Life of Sertorius.

Agesilaus being invited once to hear a man who admirably imitated the nightingale, he declined, saying he had heard the nightingale itself.[726-2]

Life of Agesilaus II.

It is circumstance and proper measure that give an action its character, and make it either good or bad.

Life of Agesilaus II.

The old proverb was now made good, "the mountain had brought forth a mouse."[726-3]

Life of Agesilaus II.

Pompey bade Sylla recollect that more worshipped the rising than the setting sun.[726-4]

Life of Pompey.

When some were saying that if Caesar should march against the city they could not see what forces there were to resist him, Pompey replied with a smile, bidding them be in no concern, "for whenever I stamp my foot in any part of Italy there will rise up forces enough in an instant, both horse and foot."

Life of Pompey.

The most glorious exploits do not always furnish us with the clearest discoveries of virtue or vice in men.

Life of Alexander.

Whenever Alexander heard Philip had taken any town of importance, or won any signal victory, instead of rejoicing at it altogether, he would tell his companions that his father would anticipate everything, and leave him and them no opportunities of performing great and illustrious actions.[727-1]

Life of Alexander.

Alexander said, "I assure you I had rather excel others in the knowledge of what is excellent, than in the extent of my power and dominion."

Life of Alexander.

When Alexander asked Diogenes whether he wanted anything, "Yes," said he, "I would have you stand from between me and the sun."

Life of Alexander.

When asked why he parted with his wife, Caesar replied, "I wished my wife to be not so much as suspected."[727-2]

Life of Caesar.

For my part, I had rather be the first man among these fellows than the second man in Rome.[727-3]

Life of Caesar.

Using the proverb frequently in their mouths who enter upon dangerous and bold attempts, "The die is cast," he took the river.[727-4]

Life of Caesar.

"And this," said Caesar, "you know, young man, is more disagreeable for me to say than to do."[728-1]

Life of Caesar.

Go on, my friend, and fear nothing; you carry Caesar and his fortunes in your boat.[728-2]

Life of Caesar.

Caesar said to the soothsayer, "The ides of March are come;" who answered him calmly, "Yes, they are come, but they are not past."[728-3]

Life of Caesar.

Even a nod from a person who is esteemed is of more force than a thousand arguments or studied sentences from others.

Life of Phocion.

Demosthenes told Phocion, "The Athenians will kill you some day when they once are in a rage." "And you," said he, "if they are once in their senses."[728-4]

Life of Phocion.

Pythias once, scoffing at Demosthenes, said that his arguments smelt of the lamp.

Life of Demosthenes.

Demosthenes overcame and rendered more distinct his inarticulate and stammering pronunciation by speaking with pebbles in his mouth.

Life of Demosthenes.

In his house he had a large looking-glass, before which he would stand and go through his exercises.

Life of Demosthenes.

Cicero called Aristotle a river of flowing gold, and said of Plato's Dialogues, that if Jupiter were to speak, it would be in language like theirs.

Life of Cicero.

(From Plutarch's Morals. Translated by several hands; corrected and revised by W. W. Goodwin, Ph.D., Harvard University.)

For water continually dropping will wear hard rocks hollow.[728-5]

Of the Training of Children.

It is a true proverb, that if you live with a lame man you will learn to halt.

Of the Training of Children.

The very spring and root of honesty and virtue lie in the felicity of lighting on good education.

Of the Training of Children.

It is indeed a desirable thing to be well descended, but the glory belongs to our ancestors.

Of the Training of Children.

According to the proverb, the best things are the most difficult.

Of the Training of Children.

To sing the same tune, as the saying is, is in everything cloying and offensive; but men are generally pleased with variety.

Of the Training of Children.

Children are to be won to follow liberal studies by exhortations and rational motives, and on no account to be forced thereto by whipping.

Of the Training of Children.

Nothing made the horse so fat as the king's eye.

Of the Training of Children.

Democritus said, words are but the shadows of actions.

Of the Training of Children.

'T is a wise saying, Drive on your own track.

Of the Training of Children.

It is a point of wisdom to be silent when occasion requires, and better than to speak, though never so well.

Of the Training of Children.

Eat not thy heart; which forbids to afflict our souls, and waste them with vexatious cares.[729-1]

Of the Training of Children.

Abstain from beans; that is, keep out of public offices, for anciently the choice of the officers of state was made by beans.

Of the Training of Children.

When men are arrived at the goal, they should not turn back.[729-2]

Of the Training of Children.

The whole life of man is but a point of time; let us enjoy it, therefore, while it lasts, and not spend it to no purpose.

Of the Training of Children.

An old doting fool, with one foot already in the grave.[729-3]

Of the Training of Children.

Xenophanes said, "I confess myself the greatest coward in the world, for I dare not do an ill thing."

Of Bashfulness.

One made the observation of the people of Asia that they were all slaves to one man, merely because they could not pronounce that syllable No.

Of Bashfulness.

Euripides was wont to say, "Silence is an answer to a wise man."

Of Bashfulness.

Zeno first started that doctrine that knavery is the best defence against a knave.[730-1]

Of Bashfulness.

Alexander wept when he heard from Anaxarchus that there was an infinite number of worlds; and his friends asking him if any accident had befallen him, he returns this answer: "Do you not think it a matter worthy of lamentation that when there is such a vast multitude of them, we have not yet conquered one?"

On the Tranquillity of the Mind.

Like the man who threw a stone at a bitch, but hit his step-mother, on which he exclaimed, "Not so bad!"

On the Tranquillity of the Mind.

Pittacus said, "Every one of you hath his particular plague, and my wife is mine; and he is very happy who hath this only."

On the Tranquillity of the Mind.

He was a man, which, as Plato saith, is a very inconstant creature.[730-2]

On the Tranquillity of the Mind.

The pilot cannot mitigate the billows or calm the winds.[730-3]

On the Tranquillity of the Mind.

I, for my own part, had much rather people should say of me that there neither is nor ever was such a man as Plutarch, than that they should say, "Plutarch is an unsteady, fickle, froward, vindictive, and touchy fellow."

Of Superstition.

Scilurus on his death-bed, being about to leave fourscore sons surviving, offered a bundle of darts to each of them, and bade them break them. When all refused, drawing out one by one, he easily broke them,—thus teaching them that if they held together, they would continue strong; but if they fell out and were divided, they would become weak.

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders.[731-1] Scilurus.

Dionysius the Elder, being asked whether he was at leisure, he replied, "God forbid that it should ever befall me!"

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Dionysius.

A prating barber asked Archelaus how he would be trimmed. He answered, "In silence."

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Archelaus.

When Philip had news brought him of divers and eminent successes in one day, "O Fortune!" said he, "for all these so great kindnesses do me some small mischief."

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Philip.

There were two brothers called Both and Either; perceiving Either was a good, understanding, busy fellow, and Both a silly fellow and good for little, Philip said, "Either is both, and Both is neither."

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Philip.

Philip being arbitrator betwixt two wicked persons, he commanded one to fly out of Macedonia and the other to pursue him.

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Philip.

Being about to pitch his camp in a likely place, and hearing there was no hay to be had for the cattle, "What a life," said he, "is ours, since we must live according to the convenience of asses!"

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Philip.

"These Macedonians," said he, "are a rude and clownish people, that call a spade a spade."[731-2]

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Philip.

He made one of Antipater's recommendation a judge; and perceiving afterwards that his hair and beard were coloured, he removed him, saying, "I could not think one that was faithless in his hair could be trusty in his deeds."

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Philip.

Being nimble and light-footed, his father encouraged him to run in the Olympic race. "Yes," said he, "if there were any kings there to run with me."

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Alexander.

When Darius offered him ten thousand talents, and to divide Asia equally with him, "I would accept it," said Parmenio, "were I Alexander." "And so truly would I," said Alexander, "if I were Parmenio." But he answered Darius that the earth could not bear two suns, nor Asia two kings.

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Alexander.

When he was wounded with an arrow in the ankle, and many ran to him that were wont to call him a god, he said smiling, "That is blood, as you see, and not, as Homer saith, 'such humour as distils from blessed gods.'"

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Alexander.

Aristodemus, a friend of Antigonus, supposed to be a cook's son, advised him to moderate his gifts and expenses. "Thy words," said he, "Aristodemus, smell of the apron."

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Antigonus I.

Thrasyllus the Cynic begged a drachm of Antigonus. "That," said he, "is too little for a king to give." "Why, then," said the other, "give me a talent." "And that," said he, "is too much for a Cynic (or, for a dog) to receive."

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Antigonus I.

Antagoras the poet was boiling a conger, and Antigonus, coming behind him as he was stirring his skillet, said, "Do you think, Antagoras, that Homer boiled congers when he wrote the deeds of Agamemnon?" Antagoras replied, "Do you think, O king, that Agamemnon, when he did such exploits, was a peeping in his army to see who boiled congers?"

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Antigonus I.

Pyrrhus said, "If I should overcome the Romans in another fight, I were undone."

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Pyrrhus.

Themistocles being asked whether he would rather be Achilles or Homer, said, "Which would you rather be,—a conqueror in the Olympic games, or the crier that proclaims who are conquerors?"

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Themistocles.

He preferred an honest man that wooed his daughter, before a rich man. "I would rather," said Themistocles, "have a man that wants money than money that wants a man."

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Themistocles.

Alcibiades had a very handsome dog, that cost him seven thousand drachmas; and he cut off his tail, "that," said he, "the Athenians may have this story to tell of me, and may concern themselves no further with me."

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Alcibiades.

Being summoned by the Athenians out of Sicily to plead for his life, Alcibiades absconded, saying that that criminal was a fool who studied a defence when he might fly for it.

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Alcibiades.

Lamachus chid a captain for a fault; and when he had said he would do so no more, "Sir," said he, "in war there is no room for a second miscarriage." Said one to Iphicrates, "What are ye afraid of?" "Of all speeches," said he, "none is so dishonourable for a general as 'I should not have thought of it.'"

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Iphicrates.

To Harmodius, descended from the ancient Harmodius, when he reviled Iphicrates [a shoemaker's son] for his mean birth, "My nobility," said he, "begins in me, but yours ends in you."[733-1]

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Iphicrates.

Once when Phocion had delivered an opinion which pleased the people, . . . he turned to his friend and said, "Have I not unawares spoken some mischievous thing or other?"

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Phocion.

Phocion compared the speeches of Leosthenes to cypress-trees. "They are tall," said he, "and comely, but bear no fruit."

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Phocion.

Lycurgus the Lacedaemonian brought long hair into fashion among his countrymen, saying that it rendered those that were handsome more beautiful, and those that were deformed more terrible. To one that advised him to set up a democracy in Sparta, "Pray," said Lycurgus, "do you first set up a democracy in your own house."

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Lycurgus.

King Agis said, "The Lacedaemonians are not wont to ask how many, but where the enemy are."

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Agis.

Lysander said, "Where the lion's skin will not reach, it must be pieced with the fox's."[734-1]

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Lysander.

To one that promised to give him hardy cocks that would die fighting, "Prithee," said Cleomenes, "give me cocks that will kill fighting."

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Cleomenes.

When Eudaemonidas heard a philosopher arguing that only a wise man can be a good general, "This is a wonderful speech," said he; "but he that saith it never heard the sound of trumpets."

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Eudaemonidas.

A soldier told Pelopidas, "We are fallen among the enemies." Said he, "How are we fallen among them more than they among us?"

Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. Pelopidas.

Cato the elder wondered how that city was preserved wherein a fish was sold for more than an ox.

Roman Apophthegms. Cato the Elder.

Cato instigated the magistrates to punish all offenders, saying that they that did not prevent crimes when they might, encouraged them.[734-2] Of young men, he liked them that blushed better than those who looked pale.

Roman Apophthegms. Cato the Elder.

Cato requested old men not to add the disgrace of wickedness to old age, which was accompanied with many other evils.

Roman Apophthegms. Cato the Elder.

He said they that were serious in ridiculous matters would be ridiculous in serious affairs.

Roman Apophthegms. Cato the Elder.

Cicero said loud-bawling orators were driven by their weakness to noise, as lame men to take horse.

Roman Apophthegms. Cicero.

After the battle in Pharsalia, when Pompey was fled, one Nonius said they had seven eagles left still, and advised to try what they would do. "Your advice," said Cicero, "were good if we were to fight jackdaws."

Roman Apophthegms. Cicero.

After he routed Pharnaces Ponticus at the first assault, he wrote thus to his friends: "I came, I saw, I conquered."[735-1]

Roman Apophthegms. Caesar.

As Caesar was at supper the discourse was of death,—which sort was the best. "That," said he, "which is unexpected."

Roman Apophthegms. Caesar.

As Athenodorus was taking his leave of Caesar, "Remember," said he, "Caesar, whenever you are angry, to say or do nothing before you have repeated the four-and-twenty letters to yourself."

Roman Apophthegms. Caesar Augustus.

"Young men," said Caesar, "hear an old man to whom old men hearkened when he was young."

Roman Apophthegms. Caesar Augustus.

Remember what Simonides said,—that he never repented that he had held his tongue, but often that he had spoken.[735-2]

Rules for the Preservation of Health. 7.

Custom is almost a second nature.[735-3]

Rules for the Preservation of Health. 18.

Epaminondas is reported wittily to have said of a good man that died about the time of the battle of Leuctra, "How came he to have so much leisure as to die, when there was so much stirring?"

Rules for the Preservation of Health. 25.

Have in readiness this saying of Solon, "But we will not give up our virtue in exchange for their wealth."

How to profit by our Enemies.

Socrates thought that if all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap, whence every one must take an equal portion, most persons would be contented to take their own and depart.

Consolation to Apollonius.

Diogenes the Cynic, when a little before his death he fell into a slumber, and his physician rousing him out of it asked him whether anything ailed him, wisely answered, "Nothing, sir; only one brother anticipates another,—Sleep before Death."

Consolation to Apollonius.

About Pontus there are some creatures of such an extempore being that the whole term of their life is confined within the space of a day; for they are brought forth in the morning, are in the prime of their existence at noon, grow old at night, and then die.

Consolation to Apollonius.

The measure of a man's life is the well spending of it, and not the length.

Consolation to Apollonius.

For many, as Cranton tells us, and those very wise men, not now but long ago, have deplored the condition of human nature, esteeming life a punishment, and to be born a man the highest pitch of calamity; this, Aristotle tells us, Silenus declared when he was brought captive to Midas.

Consolation to Apollonius.

There are two sentences inscribed upon the Delphic oracle, hugely accommodated to the usages of man's life: "Know thyself,"[736-1] and "Nothing too much;" and upon these all other precepts depend.

Consolation to Apollonius.

To one commending an orator for his skill in amplifying petty matters, Agesilaus said, "I do not think that shoemaker a good workman that makes a great shoe for a little foot."

Laconic Apophthegms. Of Agesilaus the Great.

"I will show," said Agesilaus, "that it is not the places that grace men, but men the places."

Laconic Apophthegms. Of Agesilaus the Great.

When one asked him what boys should learn, "That," said he, "which they shall use when men."

Laconic Apophthegms. Of Agesilaus the Great.

Agesilaus was very fond of his children; and it is reported that once toying with them he got astride upon a reed as upon a horse, and rode about the room; and being seen by one of his friends, he desired him not to speak of it till he had children of his own.

Laconic Apophthegms. Of Agesilaus the Great.

When Demaratus was asked whether he held his tongue because he was a fool or for want of words, he replied, "A fool cannot hold his tongue."

Laconic Apophthegms. Of Demaratus.

Lysander, when Dionysius sent him two gowns, and bade him choose which he would carry to his daughter, said, "She can choose best," and so took both away with him.

Laconic Apophthegms. Of Lysander.

A physician, after he had felt the pulse of Pausanias, and considered his constitution, saying, "He ails nothing," "It is because, sir," he replied, "I use none of your physic."

Laconic Apophthegms. Of Pausanias the Son of Phistoanax.

And when the physician said, "Sir, you are an old man," "That happens," replied Pausanias, "because you never were my doctor."

Laconic Apophthegms. Of Pausanias the Son of Phistoanax.

When one told Plistarchus that a notorious railer spoke well of him, "I 'll lay my life," said he, "somebody hath told him I am dead, for he can speak well of no man living."

Laconic Apophthegms. Of Plistarchus.

Anacharsis said a man's felicity consists not in the outward and visible favours and blessings of Fortune, but in the inward and unseen perfections and riches of the mind.

The Banquet of the Seven Wise Men. 11.

Said Periander, "Hesiod might as well have kept his breath to cool his pottage."[738-1]

The Banquet of the Seven Wise Men. 14.

Socrates said, "Bad men live that they may eat and drink, whereas good men eat and drink that they may live."[738-2]

How a Young Man ought to hear Poems. 4.

And Archimedes, as he was washing, thought of a manner of computing the proportion of gold in King Hiero's crown by seeing the water flowing over the bathing-stool. He leaped up as one possessed or inspired, crying, "I have found it! Eureka!"

Pleasure not attainable according to Epicurus. 11.

Said Scopas of Thessaly, "We rich men count our felicity and happiness to lie in these superfluities, and not in those necessary things."[738-3]

Of the Love of Wealth.

That proverbial saying, "Ill news goes quick and far."

Of Inquisitiveness.

A traveller at Sparta, standing long upon one leg, said to a Lacedaemonian, "I do not believe you can do as much." "True," said he, "but every goose can."

Remarkable Speeches.

Spintharus, speaking in commendation of Epaminondas, says he scarce ever met with any man who knew more and spoke less.

Of Hearing. 6.

It is a thing of no great difficulty to raise objections against another man's oration,—nay, it is a very easy matter; but to produce a better in its place is a work extremely troublesome.

Of Hearing. 6.

Antiphanes said merrily, that in a certain city the cold was so intense that words were congealed as soon as spoken, but that after some time they thawed and became audible; so that the words spoken in winter were articulated next summer.[739-1]

Of Man's Progress in Virtue.

As those persons who despair of ever being rich make little account of small expenses, thinking that little added to a little will never make any great sum.

Of Man's Progress in Virtue.

What is bigger than an elephant? But this also is become man's plaything, and a spectacle at public solemnities; and it learns to skip, dance, and kneel.

Of Fortune.

No man ever wetted clay and then left it, as if there would be bricks by chance and fortune.

Of Fortune.

Alexander was wont to say, "Were I not Alexander, I would be Diogenes."

Of the Fortune or Virtue of Alexander the Great.

When the candles are out all women are fair.[739-2]

Conjugal Precepts.

Like watermen, who look astern while they row the boat ahead.[739-3]

Whether 't was rightfully said, Live Concealed.

Socrates said he was not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.[739-4]

Of Banishment.

Anaximander says that men were first produced in fishes, and when they were grown up and able to help themselves were thrown up, and so lived upon the land.

Symposiacs. Book. viii. Question viii.

Athenodorus says hydrophobia, or water-dread, was first discovered in the time of Asclepiades.

Symposiacs. Book. viii. Question ix.

Let us not wonder if something happens which never was before, or if something doth not appear among us with which the ancients were acquainted.

Symposiacs. Book viii. Question ix.

Why does pouring oil on the sea make it clear and calm? Is it for that the winds, slipping the smooth oil, have no force, nor cause any waves?[740-1]

The great god Pan is dead.[740-2]

Why the Oracles cease to give Answers.

I am whatever was, or is, or will be; and my veil no mortal ever took up.[740-3]

Of Isis and Osiris.

When Hermodotus in his poems described Antigonus as the son of Helios, "My valet-de-chambre," said he, "is not aware of this."[740-4]

Of Isis and Osiris.

There is no debt with so much prejudice put off as that of justice.

Of those whom God is slow to punish.

It is a difficult thing for a man to resist the natural necessity of mortal passions.

Of those whom God is slow to punish.

He is a fool who lets slip a bird in the hand for a bird in the bush.[740-5]

Of Garrulity.

We are more sensible of what is done against custom than against Nature.

Of Eating of Flesh. Tract 1.

When Demosthenes was asked what was the first part of oratory, he answered, "Action;" and which was the second, he replied, "Action;" and which was the third, he still answered, "Action."

Lives of the Ten Orators.

Xenophon says that there is no sound more pleasing than one's own praises.

Whether an Aged Man ought to meddle in State Affairs.

Lampis, the sea commander, being asked how he got his wealth, answered, "My greatest estate I gained easily enough, but the smaller slowly and with much labour."

Whether an Aged Man ought to meddle in State Affairs.

The general himself ought to be such a one as can at the same time see both forward and backward.

Whether an Aged Man ought to meddle in State Affairs.

Statesmen are not only liable to give an account of what they say or do in public, but there is a busy inquiry made into their very meals, beds, marriages, and every other sportive or serious action.

Political Precepts.

Leo Byzantius said, "What would you do, if you saw my wife, who scarce reaches up to my knees? . . . Yet," went he on, "as little as we are, when we fall out with each other, the city of Byzantium is not big enough to hold us."

Political Precepts.

Cato said, "I had rather men should ask why my statue is not set up, than why it is."

Political Precepts.

It was the saying of Bion, that though the boys throw stones at frogs in sport, yet the frogs do not die in sport but in earnest.[741-1]

Which are the most crafty, Water or Land Animals? 7.

Both Empedocles and Heraclitus held it for a truth that man could not be altogether cleared from injustice in dealing with beasts as he now does.

Which are the most crafty, Water or Land Animals? 7.

For to err in opinion, though it be not the part of wise men, is at least human.[742-1]

Against Colotes.

Simonides calls painting silent poetry, and poetry speaking painting.

Whether the Athenians were more Warlike or Learned. 3.

As Meander says, "For our mind is God;" and as Heraclitus, "Man's genius is a deity."

Platonic Questions. i.

Pythagoras, when he was asked what time was, answered that it was the soul of this world.

Platonic Questions. viii. 4.


[722-5] See Swift, page 289.

[723-1] "Strike," said he, "but hear me."—Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. (Themistocles.)

[723-2] Diophantus, the young son of Themistocles, made his boast often and in many companies, that whatsoever pleased him pleased also all Athens; for whatever he liked, his mother liked; and whatever his mother liked, Themistocles liked; and whatever Themistocles liked, all the Athenians liked.—Of the Training of Children.

When the son of Themistocles was a little saucy toward his mother, he said that this boy had more power than all the Grecians; for the Athenians governed Greece, he the Athenians, his wife him, and his son his wife.—Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. (Themistocles.)

[723-3] An obscure island.

[723-4] Themistocles said speech was like to tapestry; and like it, when it was spread it showed its figures, but when it was folded up, hid and spoiled them.—Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. (Themistocles.)

[724-1] See Chaucer, page 3.

[725-1] The pilot telling Antigonus the enemy outnumbered him in ships, he said, "But how many ships do you reckon my presence to be worth?" Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. (Antigonus II.)

[725-2] The belly has no ears, nor is it to be filled with fair words.—RABELAIS: book iv. chap. lxvii.

[725-3] See Bacon, page 165.

[725-4] This has been observed in modern times, and attributed to the effect of gunpowder.

[725-5] Or cheat against cheat. The Cretans were famous as liars.

[726-1] 'T is one and the same Nature that rolls on her course, and whoever has sufficiently considered the present state of things might certainly conclude as to both the future and the past.—MONTAIGNE: Essays, book ii. chap. xii. Apology for Raimond Sebond.

I shall be content if those shall pronounce my History useful who desire to give a view of events as they did really happen, and as they are very likely, in accordance with human nature, to repeat themselves at some future time,—if not exactly the same, yet very similar.—THUCYDIDES: Historia, i. 2, 2.

What is this day supported by precedents will hereafter become a precedent.—Ibid., Annals, xi. 24.

[726-2] Agesilaus being exhorted to hear one that imitated the voice of a nightingale, "I have often," said he, "heard nightingales themselves."—Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. (Agesilaus.)

[726-3] See Horace, page 706.

[726-4] See Garrick, page 387.

He [Tiberius] upbraided Macro in no obscure and indirect terms "with forsaking the setting sun and turning to the rising."—TACITUS: Annals, book iv. c. 47, 20.

[727-1] While Alexander was a boy, Philip had great success in his affairs, at which he did not rejoice, but told the children that were brought up with him, "My father will leave me nothing to do."—Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. (Alexander.)

[727-2] Caesar's wife ought to be free from suspicion.—Roman Apophthegms. (Caesar.)

[727-3] I had rather be the first in this town than second in Rome.—Ibid.

[727-4] He passed the river Rubicon, saying, "Let every die be thrown."—Ibid.

[728-1] Caesar said to Metellus, "This, young man, is harder for me to say than do."—Roman Apophthegms. (Caesar.)

[728-2] Trust Fortune, and know that you carry Caesar.—Ibid.

[728-3] See Shakespeare, page 112.

[728-4] Demosthenes the orator told Phocion, "If the Athenians should be mad, they would kill you." "Like enough," said he,—"me if they were mad, but you if they were wise."—Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. (Phocion.)

[728-5] See Lyly, page 32.

[729-1] See Spenser, page 30.

[729-2] See Publius Syrus, page 711.

[729-3] See Beaumont and Fletcher, page 198.

[730-1] Set a thief to catch a thief.—BOHN: A Hand-book of Proverbs.

[730-2] Man in sooth is a marvellous, vain, fickle, and unstable subject.—MONTAIGNE: Works, book i. chap. i. That Men by various Ways arrive at the same End.

[730-3] See Publius Syrus, page 712.

[731-1] Rejected by some critics as not a genuine work of Plutarch.—EMERSON.

[731-2] Ta syka syka, ten skaphen de skaphen onomazon.—ARISTOPHANES, as quoted in Lucian, Quom. Hist. sit conscrib. 41.

Brought up like a rude Macedon, and taught to call a spade a spade.—GOSSON: Ephemerides of Phialo (1579).

[733-1] I am my own ancestor.—JUNOT, DUC D'ABRANTES (when asked as to his ancestry).

[734-1] Lysander said, "When the lion's skin cannot prevail, a little of the fox's must be used."—Laconic Apophthegms. (Lysander.)

[734-2] Pardon one offence, and you encourage the commission of many.—PUBLIUS SYRUS: Maxim 750.

[735-1] Veni, vidi, vici.

[735-2] See Publius Syrus, page 714.

[735-3] See "Of Unknown Authorship," page 707. Also Publius Syrus, page 709.

[736-1] See Pope, page 317.

Plutarch ascribes this saying to Plato. It is also ascribed to Pythagoras, Chilo, Thales, Cleobulus, Bias, and Socrates; also to Phemone, a mythical Greek poetess of the ante-Homeric period. Juvenal (Satire xi. 27) says that this precept descended from heaven.

[738-1] Spare your breath to cool your porridge.—RABELAIS: Works, book v. chap. xxviii.

[738-2] See Fielding, page 363.

He used to say that other men lived to eat, but that he ate to live.—DIOGENES LAERTIUS: Socrates, xiv.

[738-3] See Holmes, page 637.

[739-1] In the "Adventures of Baron Munchausen" (Rudolphe Erich Raspe), stories gathered from various sources, is found the story of sound being frozen for a time in a post-horn, which when thawed gave a variety of tunes. A somewhat similar account is found in Rabelais, book iv. chaps. lv. lvi., referring to Antiphanes.

[739-2] See Heywood, page 11.

[739-3] See Burton, page 186.

[739-4] See Garrison, page 605.

[740-1] See Pliny, page 717.

[740-2] See Mrs. Browning, page 621.

Plutarch relates (Isis and Osiris) that a ship well laden with passengers drove with the tide near the Isles of Paxi, when a loud voice was heard by most of the passengers calling unto one Thanus. The voice then said aloud to him, "When you are arrived at Palodes, take care to make it known that the great god Pan is dead."

[740-3] I am the things that are, and those that are to be, and those that have been. No one ever lifted my skirts; the fruit which I bore was the sun.—PROCLUS: On Plato's Timaeus, p. 30 D. (Inscription in the temple of Neith at Sais, in Egypt.)

[740-4] No man is a hero to his valet-de-chambre.—MARSHAL CATINAT (1637-1712).

Few men have been admired by their domestics.—MONTAIGNE: Essays, book iii. chap. 2.

This phrase, "No man is a hero to his valet," is commonly attributed to Madame de Sevigne, but on the authority of Madame Aisse (Letters, edited by Jules Ravenal, 1853) it really belongs to Madame Cornuel.

[740-5] See Heywood, page 15.

[741-1] Though this may be play to you, 'T is death to us.

ROGER L' ESTRANGE: Fables from Several Authors. Fable 398.

[742-1] See Pope, page 325.

EPICTETUS. Circa 60 A. D.

(The translation used here is that of Thomas Wentworth Higginson, based on that of Elizabeth Carter (1866).)

To a reasonable creature, that alone is insupportable which is unreasonable; but everything reasonable may be supported.

Discourses. Chap. ii.

Yet God hath not only granted these faculties, by which we may bear every event without being depressed or broken by it, but like a good prince and a true father, hath placed their exercise above restraint, compulsion, or hindrance, and wholly without our own control.

Discourses. Chap. vi.

In a word, neither death, nor exile, nor pain, nor anything of this kind is the real cause of our doing or not doing any action, but our inward opinions and principles.

Discourses. Chap. xi.

Reason is not measured by size or height, but by principle.

Discourses. Chap. xii.

O slavish man! will you not bear with your own brother, who has God for his Father, as being a son from the same stock, and of the same high descent? But if you chance to be placed in some superior station, will you presently set yourself up for a tyrant?

Discourses. Chap. xiii.

When you have shut your doors, and darkened your room, remember never to say that you are alone, for you are not alone; but God is within, and your genius is within,—and what need have they of light to see what you are doing?

Discourses. Chap. xiv.

No great thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.

Discourses. Chap. xv.

Any one thing in the creation is sufficient to demonstrate a Providence to an humble and grateful mind.

Discourses. Chap. xvi.

Were I a nightingale, I would act the part of a nightingale; were I a swan, the part of a swan.

Discourses. Chap. xvi.

Since it is Reason which shapes and regulates all other things, it ought not itself to be left in disorder.

Discourses. Chap. xvii.

If what the philosophers say be true,—that all men's actions proceed from one source; that as they assent from a persuasion that a thing is so, and dissent from a persuasion that it is not, and suspend their judgment from a persuasion that it is uncertain,—so likewise they seek a thing from a persuasion that it is for their advantage.

Discourses. Chap. xviii.

Practise yourself, for heaven's sake, in little things; and thence proceed to greater.

Discourses. Chap. xviii.

Every art and every faculty contemplates certain things as its principal objects.

Discourses. Chap. xx.

Why, then, do you walk as if you had swallowed a ramrod?

Discourses. Chap. xxi.

When one maintains his proper attitude in life, he does not long after externals. What would you have, O man?

Discourses. Chap. xxi.

Difficulties are things that show what men are.

Discourses. Chap. xxiv.

If we are not stupid or insincere when we say that the good or ill of man lies within his own will, and that all beside is nothing to us, why are we still troubled?

Discourses. Chap. xxv.

In theory there is nothing to hinder our following what we are taught; but in life there are many things to draw us aside.

Discourses. Chap. xxvi.

Appearances to the mind are of four kinds. Things either are what they appear to be; or they neither are, nor appear to be; or they are, and do not appear to be; or they are not, and yet appear to be. Rightly to aim in all these cases is the wise man's task.

Discourses. Chap. xxvii.

The appearance of things to the mind is the standard of every action to man.

That we ought not to be angry with Mankind. Chap. xxviii.

The essence of good and evil is a certain disposition of the will.

Of Courage. Chap. xxix.

It is not reasonings that are wanted now; for there are books stuffed full of stoical reasonings.

Of Courage. Chap. xxix.

For what constitutes a child?—Ignorance. What constitutes a child?—Want of instruction; for they are our equals so far as their degree of knowledge permits.

That Courage is not inconsistent with Caution. Book ii. Chap. i.

Appear to know only this,—never to fail nor fall.

That Courage is not inconsistent with Caution. Book ii. Chap. i.

The materials of action are variable, but the use we make of them should be constant.

How Nobleness of Mind may be consistent with Prudence. Chap. v.

Shall I show you the muscular training of a philosopher? "What muscles are those?"—A will undisappointed; evils avoided; powers daily exercised; careful resolutions; unerring decisions.

Wherein consists the Essence of Good. Chap. viii.

Dare to look up to God and say, "Make use of me for the future as Thou wilt. I am of the same mind; I am one with Thee. I refuse nothing which seems good to Thee. Lead me whither Thou wilt. Clothe me in whatever dress Thou wilt."

That we do not study to make Use of the established Principles concerning Good and Evil. Chap. xvi.

What is the first business of one who studies philosophy? To part with self-conceit. For it is impossible for any one to begin to learn what he thinks that he already knows.

How to apply general Principles to particular Cases. Chap. xvii.

Every habit and faculty is preserved and increased by correspondent actions,—as the habit of walking, by walking; of running, by running.

How the Semblances of Things are to be combated. Chap. xviii.

Whatever you would make habitual, practise it; and if you would not make a thing habitual, do not practise it, but habituate yourself to something else.

How the Semblances of Things are to be combated. Chap. xviii.

Reckon the days in which you have not been angry. I used to be angry every day; now every other day; then every third and fourth day; and if you miss it so long as thirty days, offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God.

How the Semblances of Things are to be combated. Chap. xviii.

Be not hurried away by excitement, but say, "Semblance, wait for me a little. Let me see what you are and what you represent. Let me try you."

How the Semblances of Things are to be combated. Chap. xviii.

Things true and evident must of necessity be recognized by those who would contradict them.

Concerning the Epicureans. Chap. xx.

There are some things which men confess with ease, and others with difficulty.

Of Inconsistency. Chap. xxi.

Who is there whom bright and agreeable children do not attract to play and creep and prattle with them?

Concerning a Person whom he treated with Disregard. Chap. xxiv.

Two rules we should always have ready,—that there is nothing good or evil save in the will; and that we are not to lead events, but to follow them.

In what Manner we ought to bear Sickness. Book iii. Chap. x.

In every affair consider what precedes and what follows, and then undertake it.[746-1]

That Everything is to be undertaken with Circumspection. Chap. xv.

There is a fine circumstance connected with the character of a Cynic,—that he must be beaten like an ass, and yet when beaten must love those who beat him, as the father, as the brother of all.

Of the Cynic Philosophy. Chap. xxii.

First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.

Concerning such as read and dispute ostentatiously. Chap. xxiii.

Let not another's disobedience to Nature become an ill to you; for you were not born to be depressed and unhappy with others, but to be happy with them. And if any is unhappy, remember that he is so for himself; for God made all men to enjoy felicity and peace.

That we ought not to be affected by Things not in our own Power. Chap. xxiv.

Everything has two handles,—one by which it may be borne; another by which it cannot.

Enchiridion. xliii.


[746-1] See Publius Syrus, page 712.

TACITUS. 54-119 A. D.

(The Oxford Translation. Bohn's Classical Library.)

The images of twenty of the most illustrious families—the Manlii, the Quinctii, and other names of equal splendour—were carried before it [the bier of Junia]. Those of Brutus and Cassius were not displayed; but for that very reason they shone with pre-eminent lustre.[747-1]

Annales. iii. 76. 11.

He had talents equal to business, and aspired no higher.[747-2]

Annales. vi. 39, 17.

He [Tiberius] upbraided Macro, in no obscure and indirect terms, "with forsaking the setting sun and turning to the rising."[747-3]

Annales. vi. 52 (46).

He possessed a peculiar talent of producing effect in whatever he said or did.[747-4]

Historiae. ii. 80.

Some might consider him as too fond of fame; for the desire of glory clings even to the best men longer than any other passion.[747-5]

Historiae. iv. 6.

The gods looked with favour on superior courage.[747-6]

Historiae. iv. 17.

They make solitude, which they call peace.[747-7]

Agricola. 30.

Think of your ancestors and your posterity.[747-8]

Agricola. 32.

It belongs to human nature to hate those you have injured.[747-9]

Agricola. 42.


[747-1] Lord John Russell, alluding to an expression used by him ("Conspicuous by his absence") in his address to the electors of the city of London, said, "It is not an original expression of mine, but is taken from one of the greatest historians of antiquity."

[747-2] See Mathew Henry, page 284.

[747-3] See Plutarch, page 726.

[747-4] See Chesterfield, page 353.

[747-5] See Milton, page 247.

[747-6] See Gibbon, page 430.

[747-7] See Byron, page 550.

[747-8] See John Quincy Adams, page 458.

[747-9] See Seneca, page 714.


(Translation by William Melmoth. Bohn's Classical Library.)

Modestus said of Regulus that he was "the biggest rascal that walks upon two legs."

Letters.[748-1] Book i. Letter v. 14.

There is nothing to write about, you say. Well, then, write and let me know just this,—that there is nothing to write about; or tell me in the good old style if you are well. That 's right. I am quite well.[748-2]

Letters. Book i. Letter xi. 1.

Never do a thing concerning the rectitude of which you are in doubt.

Letters. Book i. Letter xviii. 5.

The living voice is that which sways the soul.

Letters. Book ii. Letter iii. 9.

An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit.[748-3]

Letters. Book ii. Letter xv. 1.

He [Pliny the Elder] used to say that "no book was so bad but some good might be got out of it."[748-4]

Letters. Book iii. Letter v. 10.

This expression of ours, "Father of a family."

Letters. Book v. Letter xix. 2.

That indolent but agreeable condition of doing nothing.[748-5]

Letters. Book viii. Letter ix. 3.

Objects which are usually the motives of our travels by land and by sea are often overlooked and neglected if they lie under our eye. . . . We put off from time to time going and seeing what we know we have an opportunity of seeing when we please.

Letters. Book viii. Letter xx. 1.

His only fault is that he has no fault.[748-6]

Letters. Book ix. Letter xxvi. 1.


[748-1] Book vi. Letter xvi. contains the description of the eruption of Vesuvius, A. D. 79, as witnessed by Pliny the Elder.

[748-2] This comes to inform you that I am in a perfect state of health, hoping you are in the same. Ay, that 's the old beginning.—COLMAN: The Heir at Law, act iii. sc. 2.

[748-3] See Goldsmith, page 402.

[748-4] "There is no book so bad," said the bachelor, "but something good may be found in it."—CERVANTES: Don Quixote, part ii. chap. iii.

[748-5] Il dolce far niente (The sweet do nothing).—A well known Italian proverb.

[748-6] See Carlyle, page 579.


(Translated by M. H. Morgan, Ph. D., of Harvard University.)

This Being of mine, whatever it really is, consists of a little flesh, a little breath, and the part which governs.

Meditations. ii. 2.

The ways of the gods are full of providence.

Meditations. ii. 3.

Thou wilt find rest from vain fancies if thou doest every act in life as though it were thy last.[749-1]

Meditations. ii. 5.

Thou seest how few be the things, the which if a man has at his command his life flows gently on and is divine.

Meditations. ii. 5.

Find time still to be learning somewhat good, and give up being desultory.

Meditations. ii. 7.

No state sorrier than that of the man who keeps up a continual round, and pries into "the secrets of the nether world," as saith the poet, and is curious in conjecture of what is in his neighbour's heart.

Meditations. ii. 13.

Though thou be destined to live three thousand years and as many myriads besides, yet remember that no man loseth other life than that which he liveth, nor liveth other than that which he loseth.

Meditations. ii. 14.

For a man can lose neither the past nor the future; for how can one take from him that which is not his? So remember these two points: first, that each thing is of like form from everlasting and comes round again in its cycle, and that it signifies not whether a man shall look upon the same things for a hundred years or two hundred, or for an infinity of time; second, that the longest lived and the shortest lived man, when they come to die, lose one and the same thing.

Meditations. ii. 14.

As for life, it is a battle and a sojourning in a strange land; but the fame that comes after is oblivion.

Meditations. ii. 17.

Waste not the remnant of thy life in those imaginations touching other folk, whereby thou contributest not to the common weal.

Meditations. iii. 4.

The lot assigned to every man is suited to him, and suits him to itself.[750-1]

Meditations. iii. 4.

Be not unwilling in what thou doest, neither selfish nor unadvised nor obstinate; let not over-refinement deck out thy thought; be not wordy nor a busybody.

Meditations. iii. 5.

A man should be upright, not be kept upright.

Meditations. iii. 5.

Never esteem anything as of advantage to thee that shall make thee break thy word or lose thy self-respect.

Meditations. iii. 7.

Respect the faculty that forms thy judgments.

Meditations. iii. 9.

Remember that man's life lies all within this present, as 't were but a hair's-breadth of time; as for the rest, the past is gone, the future yet unseen. Short, therefore, is man's life, and narrow is the corner of the earth wherein he dwells.

Meditations. iii. 10.

Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.

Meditations. iii. 11.

As surgeons keep their instruments and knives always at hand for cases requiring immediate treatment, so shouldst thou have thy thoughts ready to understand things divine and human, remembering in thy every act, even the smallest, how close is the bond that unites the two.

Meditations. iii. 13.

The ruling power within, when it is in its natural state, is so related to outer circumstances that it easily changes to accord with what can be done and what is given it to do.

Meditations. iv. 1.

Let no act be done at haphazard, nor otherwise than according to the finished rules that govern its kind.

Meditations. iv. 2.

By a tranquil mind I mean nothing else than a mind well ordered.

Meditations. iv. 3.

Think on this doctrine,—that reasoning beings were created for one another's sake; that to be patient is a branch of justice, and that men sin without intending it.

Meditations. iv. 3.

The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.

Meditations. iv. 3.

Nothing can come out of nothing, any more than a thing can go back to nothing.

Meditations. iv. 4.

Death, like generation, is a secret of Nature.

Meditations. iv. 5.

That which makes the man no worse than he was makes his life no worse: it has no power to harm, without or within.

Meditations. iv. 8.

Whatever happens at all happens as it should; thou wilt find this true, if thou shouldst watch narrowly.

Meditations. iv. 10.

Many the lumps of frankincense on the same altar; one falls there early and another late, but it makes no difference.

Meditations. iv. 15.

Be not as one that hath ten thousand years to live; death is nigh at hand: while thou livest, while thou hast time, be good.

Meditations. iv. 17.

How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.

Meditations. iv. 18.

Whatever is in any way beautiful hath its source of beauty in itself, and is complete in itself; praise forms no part of it. So it is none the worse nor the better for being praised.

Meditations. iv. 20.

Doth perfect beauty stand in need of praise at all? Nay; no more than law, no more than truth, no more than loving kindness, nor than modesty.

Meditations. iv. 20.

All that is harmony for thee, O Universe, is in harmony with me as well. Nothing that comes at the right time for thee is too early or too late for me. Everything is fruit to me that thy seasons bring, O Nature. All things come of thee, have their being in thee, and return to thee.

Meditations. iv. 23.

"Let thine occupations be few," saith the sage,[752-1] "if thou wouldst lead a tranquil life."

Meditations. iv. 24.

Love the little trade which thou hast learned, and be content therewith.

Meditations. iv. 31.

Remember this,—that there is a proper dignity and proportion to be observed in the performance of every act of life.

Meditations. iv. 32.

All is ephemeral,—fame and the famous as well.

Meditations. iv. 35.

Observe always that everything is the result of a change, and get used to thinking that there is nothing Nature loves so well as to change existing forms and to make new ones like them.

Meditations. iv. 36.

Search men's governing principles, and consider the wise, what they shun and what they cleave to.

Meditations. iv. 38.

Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.

Meditations. iv. 43.

All that happens is as usual and familiar as the rose in spring and the crop in summer.

Meditations. iv. 44.

That which comes after ever conforms to that which has gone before.

Meditations. iv. 45.

Mark how fleeting and paltry is the estate of man,—yesterday in embryo, to-morrow a mummy or ashes. So for the hair's-breadth of time assigned to thee live rationally, and part with life cheerfully, as drops the ripe olive, extolling the season that bore it and the tree that matured it.

Meditations. iv. 48.

Deem not life a thing of consequence. For look at the yawning void of the future, and at that other limitless space, the past.

Meditations. iv. 50.

Always take the short cut; and that is the rational one. Therefore say and do everything according to soundest reason.

Meditations. iv. 51.

In the morning, when thou art sluggish at rousing thee, let this thought be present; "I am rising to a man's work."

Meditations. v. 1.

A man makes no noise over a good deed, but passes on to another as a vine to bear grapes again in season.

Meditations. v. 6.

Flinch not, neither give up nor despair, if the achieving of every act in accordance with right principle is not always continuous with thee.

Meditations. v. 9.

Nothing happens to anybody which he is not fitted by nature to bear.

Meditations. v. 18.

Prize that which is best in the universe; and this is that which useth everything and ordereth everything.

Meditations. v. 21.

Live with the gods.

Meditations. v. 27.

Look beneath the surface; let not the several quality of a thing nor its worth escape thee.

Meditations. vi. 3.

The controlling Intelligence understands its own nature, and what it does, and whereon it works.

Meditations. vi. 5.

Do not think that what is hard for thee to master is impossible for man; but if a thing is possible and proper to man, deem it attainable by thee.

Meditations. vi. 19.

If any man can convince me and bring home to me that I do not think or act aright, gladly will I change; for I search after truth, by which man never yet was harmed. But he is harmed who abideth on still in his deception and ignorance.

Meditations. vi. 21.

Death,—a stopping of impressions through the senses, and of the pulling of the cords of motion, and of the ways of thought, and of service to the flesh.

Meditations. vi. 28.

Suit thyself to the estate in which thy lot is cast.

Meditations. vi. 39.

What is not good for the swarm is not good for the bee.

Meditations. vi. 54.

How many, once lauded in song, are given over to the forgotten; and how many who sung their praises are clean gone long ago!

Meditations. vii. 6.

One Universe made up of all that is; and one God in it all, and one principle of Being, and one Law, the Reason, shared by all thinking creatures, and one Truth.

Meditations. vii. 9.

To a rational being it is the same thing to act according to nature and according to reason.

Meditations. vii. 11.

Let not thy mind run on what thou lackest as much as on what thou hast already.

Meditations. vii. 27.

Just as the sand-dunes, heaped one upon another, hide each the first, so in life the former deeds are quickly hidden by those that follow after.

Meditations. vii. 34.

The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing, in so far as it stands ready against the accidental and the unforeseen, and is not apt to fall.

Meditations. vii. 61.

Remember this,—that very little is needed to make a happy life.

Meditations. vii. 67.

Remember that to change thy mind and to follow him that sets thee right, is to be none the less the free agent that thou wast before.

Meditations. viii. 16.

Look to the essence of a thing, whether it be a point of doctrine, of practice, or of interpretation.

Meditations. viii. 22.

A man's happiness,—to do the things proper to man.

Meditations. viii. 26.

Be not careless in deeds, nor confused in words, nor rambling in thought.

Meditations. viii. 51.

He that knows not what the world is, knows not where he is himself. He that knows not for what he was made, knows not what he is nor what the world is.

Meditations. viii. 52.

The nature of the universe is the nature of things that are. Now, things that are have kinship with things that are from the beginning. Further, this nature is styled Truth; and it is the first cause of all that is true.

Meditations. ix. 1.

He would be the finer gentleman that should leave the world without having tasted of lying or pretence of any sort, or of wantonness or conceit.

Meditations. ix. 2.

Think not disdainfully of death, but look on it with favour; for even death is one of the things that Nature wills.

Meditations. ix. 3.

A wrong-doer is often a man that has left something undone, not always he that has done something.

Meditations. ix. 5.

Blot out vain pomp; check impulse; quench appetite; keep reason under its own control.

Meditations. ix. 7.

Things that have a common quality ever quickly seek their kind.

Meditations. ix. 9.

All things are the same,—familiar in enterprise, momentary in endurance, coarse in substance. All things now are as they were in the day of those whom we have buried.

Meditations. ix. 14.

The happiness and unhappiness of the rational, social animal depends not on what he feels but on what he does; just as his virtue and vice consist not in feeling but in doing.

Meditations. ix. 16.

Everything is in a state of metamorphosis. Thou thyself art in everlasting change and in corruption to correspond; so is the whole universe.

Meditations. ix. 19.

Forward, as occasion offers. Never look round to see whether any shall note it. . . . Be satisfied with success in even the smallest matter, and think that even such a result is no trifle.

Meditations. ix. 29.

He that dies in extreme old age will be reduced to the same state with him that is cut down untimely.

Meditations. ix. 33.

Whatever may befall thee, it was preordained for thee from everlasting.

Meditations. x. 5.

"The earth loveth the shower," and "the holy ether knoweth what love is."[756-1] The Universe, too, loves to create whatsoever is destined to be made.

Meditations. x. 21.

Remember that what pulls the strings is the force hidden within; there lies the power to persuade, there the life,—there, if one must speak out, the real man.

Meditations. x. 38.

No form of Nature is inferior to Art; for the arts merely imitate natural forms.

Meditations. xi. 10.

If it is not seemly, do it not; if it is not true, speak it not.

Meditations. xii. 17.


[749-1] See Publius Syrus, page 712.

A similar saying falls from his lips at another time: "Let every act and speech and purpose be framed as though this moment thou mightest take thy leave of life."

[750-1] The translator is in doubt about this passage. Commentators differ in regard to it, and the text may be corrupt.

[752-1] DEMOCRITUS apud SENECAM: De Ira, iii. 6; De Animi Tranquillitate, 13.

[756-1] Fragmenta Euripidis, apud Aristotelem, N. A. viii. 1, 6.

TERTULLIAN. 160-240 A. D.

See how these Christians love one another.

Apologeticus. c. 39.

Blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.

Apologeticus. c. 50.

It is certain because it is impossible.[756-2]

De Carne Christi. c. 5.

He who flees will fight again.[756-3]

De Fuga in Persecutione. c. 10.


[756-2] Certum est, quia impossibile est. This is usually misquoted, "Credo quia impossibile" (I believe it because it is impossible).

[756-3] See Butler, pages 215, 216.


(From "The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers." Translated by C. D. Yonge, B. A., with occasional corrections. Bohn's Classical Library.)

Alcaeus mentions Aristodemus in these lines:—

'T is money makes the man; and he who 's none Is counted neither good nor honourable.

Thales. vii.

Thales said there was no difference between life and death. "Why, then," said some one to him, "do not you die?" "Because," said he, "it does make no difference."

Thales. ix.

When Thales was asked what was difficult, he said, "To know one's self." And what was easy, "To advise another."

Thales. ix.

He said that men ought to remember those friends who were absent as well as those who were present.

Thales. ix.

The apophthegm "Know thyself" is his.[757-1]

Thales. xiii.

Writers differ with respect to the apophthegms of the Seven Sages, attributing the same one to various authors.

Thales. xiv.

Solon used to say that speech was the image of actions; . . . that laws were like cobwebs,—for that if any trifling or powerless thing fell into them, they held it fast; while if it were something weightier, it broke through them and was off.

Solon. x.

Solon gave the following advice: "Consider your honour, as a gentleman, of more weight than an oath. Never tell a lie. Pay attention to matters of importance."

Solon. xii.

As some say, Solon was the author of the apophthegm, "Nothing in excess."[757-2]

Solon. xvi.

Chilo advised, "not to speak evil of the dead."[758-1]

Chilo. ii.

Pittacus said that half was more than the whole.[758-2]

Pittacus. ii.

Heraclitus says that Pittacus, when he had got Alcaeus into his power, released him, saying, "Forgiveness is better than revenge."[758-3]

Pittacus. iii.

One of his sayings was, "Even the gods cannot strive against necessity."[758-4]

Pittacus. iv.

Another was, "Watch your opportunity."

Pittacus. vii.

Bias used to say that men ought to calculate life both as if they were fated to live a long and a short time, and that they ought to love one another as if at a future time they would come to hate one another; for that most men were bad.

Bias. v.

Ignorance plays the chief part among men, and the multitude of words;[758-5] but opportunity will prevail.

Cleobulus. iv.

The saying, "Practice is everything," is Periander's.[758-6]

Periander. vi.

Anarcharsis, on learning that the sides of a ship were four fingers thick, said that "the passengers were just that distance from death."[758-7]

Anarcharsis. v.

He used to say that it was better to have one friend of great value than many friends who were good for nothing.

Anarcharsis. v.

It was a common saying of Myson that men ought not to investigate things from words, but words from things; for that things are not made for the sake of words, but words for things.

Myson. iii.

Epimenides was sent by his father into the field to look for a sheep, turned out of the road at mid-day and lay down in a certain cave and fell asleep, and slept there fifty-seven years; and after that, when awake, he went on looking for the sheep, thinking that he had been taking a short nap.[759-1]

Epimenides. ii.

There are many marvellous stories told of Pherecydes. For it is said that he was walking along the seashore at Samos, and that seeing a ship sailing by with a fair wind, he said that it would soon sink; and presently it sank before his eyes. At another time he was drinking some water which had been drawn up out of a well, and he foretold that within three days there would be an earthquake; and there was one.

Pherecydes. ii.

Anaximander used to assert that the primary cause of all things was the Infinite,—not defining exactly whether he meant air or water or anything else.

Anaximander. ii.

Anaxagoras said to a man who was grieving because he was dying in a foreign land, "The descent to Hades is the same from every place."

Anaxagoras. vi.

Aristophanes turns Socrates into ridicule in his comedies, as making the worse appear the better reason.[759-2]

Socrates. v.

Often when he was looking on at auctions he would say, "How many things there are which I do not need!"

Socrates. x.

Socrates said, "Those who want fewest things are nearest to the gods."

Socrates. xi.

He said that there was one only good, namely, knowledge; and one only evil, namely, ignorance.

Socrates. xiv.

He declared that he knew nothing, except the fact of his ignorance.

Socrates. xvi.

Being asked whether it was better to marry or not, he replied, "Whichever you do, you will repent it."

Socrates. xvi.

He used to say that other men lived to eat, but that he ate to live.[760-1]

Socrates. xvi.

Aristippus being asked what were the most necessary things for well-born boys to learn, said, "Those things which they will put in practice when they become men."

Aristippus. iv.

Aristippus said that a wise man's country was the world.[760-2]

Aristippus. xiii.

Like sending owls to Athens, as the proverb goes.

Plato. xxxii.

Plato affirmed that the soul was immortal and clothed in many bodies successively.

Plato. xl.

Time is the image of eternity.

Plato. xli.

That virtue was sufficient of herself for happiness.[760-3]

Plato. xlii.

That the gods superintend all the affairs of men, and that there are such beings as daemons.

Plato. xlii.

There is a written and an unwritten law. The one by which we regulate our constitutions in our cities is the written law; that which arises from custom is the unwritten law.

Plato. li.

Plato was continually saying to Xenocrates, "Sacrifice to the Graces."[760-4]

Xenocrates. iii.

Arcesilaus had a peculiar habit while conversing of using the expression, "My opinion is," and "So and so will not agree to this."

Arcesilaus. xii.

Bion used to say that the way to the shades below was easy; he could go there with his eyes shut.

Bion. iii.

Once when Bion was at sea in the company of some wicked men, he fell into the hands of pirates; and when the rest said, "We are undone if we are known,"—"But I," said he, "am undone if we are not known."

Bion. iii.

Of a rich man who was niggardly he said, "That man does not own his estate, but his estate owns him."

Bion. iii.

Bion insisted on the principle that "The property of friends is common."[761-1]

Bion. ix.

Very late in life, when he was studying geometry, some one said to Lacydes, "Is it then a time for you to be learning now?" "If it is not," he replied, "when will it be?"

Lacydes. v.

Aristotle was once asked what those who tell lies gain by it. Said he, "That when they speak truth they are not believed."

Aristotle. xi.

The question was put to him, what hope is; and his answer was, "The dream of a waking man."[761-2]

Aristotle. xi.

He used to say that personal beauty was a better introduction than any letter;[761-3] but others say that it was Diogenes who gave this description of it, while Aristotle called beauty "the gift of God;" that Socrates called it "a short-lived tyranny;" Theophrastus, "a silent deceit;" Theocritus, "an ivory mischief;" Carneades, "a sovereignty which stood in need of no guards."

Aristotle. xi.

On one occasion Aristotle was asked how much educated men were superior to those uneducated: "As much," said he, "as the living are to the dead."[762-1]

Aristotle. xi.

It was a saying of his that education was an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.

Aristotle. xi.

He was once asked what a friend is, and his answer was, "One soul abiding in two bodies."[762-2]

Aristotle. xi.

Asked what he gained from philosophy, he answered, "To do without being commanded what others do from fear of the laws."

Aristotle. xi.

The question was once put to him, how we ought to behave to our friends; and the answer he gave was, "As we should wish our friends to behave to us."

Aristotle. xi.

He used to define justice as "a virtue of the soul distributing that which each person deserved."

Aristotle. xi.

Another of his sayings was, that education was the best viaticum of old age.

Aristotle. xi.

The chief good he has defined to be the exercise of virtue in a perfect life.

Aristotle. xiii.

He used to teach that God is incorporeal, as Plato also asserted, and that his providence extends over all the heavenly bodies.

Aristotle. xiii.

It was a favourite expression of Theophrastus that time was the most valuable thing that a man could spend.[762-3]

Theophrastus. x.

Antisthenes used to say that envious people were devoured by their own disposition, just as iron is by rust.

Antisthenes. iv.

When he was praised by some wicked men, he said, "I am sadly afraid that I must have done some wicked thing."[763-1]

Antisthenes. iv.

When asked what learning was the most necessary, he said, "Not to unlearn what you have learned."

Antisthenes. iv.

Diogenes would frequently praise those who were about to marry, and yet did not marry.

Diogenes. iv.

"Bury me on my face," said Diogenes; and when he was asked why, he replied, "Because in a little while everything will be turned upside down."

Diogenes. vi.

One of the sayings of Diogenes was that most men were within a finger's breadth of being mad; for if a man walked with his middle finger pointing out, folks would think him mad, but not so if it were his forefinger.

Diogenes. vi.

All things are in common among friends.[763-2]

Diogenes. vi.

"Be of good cheer," said Diogenes; "I see land."

Diogenes. vi.

Plato having defined man to be a two-legged animal without feathers, Diogenes plucked a cock and brought it into the Academy, and said, "This is Plato's man." On which account this addition was made to the definition,—"With broad flat nails."

Diogenes. vi.

A man once asked Diogenes what was the proper time for supper, and he made answer, "If you are a rich man, whenever you please; and if you are a poor man, whenever you can."[763-3]

Diogenes. vi.

Diogenes lighted a candle in the daytime, and went round saying, "I am looking for a man."[763-4]

Diogenes. vi.

When asked what he would take to let a man give him a blow on the head, he said, "A helmet."

Diogenes. vi.

Once he saw a youth blushing, and addressed him, "Courage, my boy! that is the complexion of virtue."[764-1]

Diogenes. vi.

When asked what wine he liked to drink, he replied, "That which belongs to another."

Diogenes. vi.

Asked from what country he came, he replied, "I am a citizen of the world."[764-2]

Diogenes. vi.

When a man reproached him for going into unclean places, he said, "The sun too penetrates into privies, but is not polluted by them."[764-3]

Diogenes. vi.

Diogenes said once to a person who was showing him a dial, "It is a very useful thing to save a man from being too late for supper."

Menedemus. iii.

When Zeno was asked what a friend was, he replied, "Another I."[764-4]

Zeno. xix.

They say that the first inclination which an animal has is to protect itself.

Zeno. lii.

One ought to seek out virtue for its own sake, without being influenced by fear or hope, or by any external influence. Moreover, that in that does happiness consist.[764-5]

Zeno. liii.

The Stoics also teach that God is unity, and that he is called Mind and Fate and Jupiter, and by many other names besides.

Zeno. lxviii.

They also say that God is an animal immortal, rational, perfect, and intellectual in his happiness, unsusceptible of any kind of evil, having a foreknowledge of the universe and of all that is in the universe; however, that he has not the figure of a man; and that he is the creator of the universe, and as it were the Father of all things in common, and that a portion of him pervades everything.

Zeno. lxxii.

But Chrysippus, Posidonius, Zeno, and Boethus say, that all things are produced by fate. And fate is a connected cause of existing things, or the reason according to which the world is regulated.

Zeno. lxxiv.

Apollodorus says, "If any one were to take away from the books of Chrysippus all the passages which he quotes from other authors, his paper would be left empty."

Chrysippus. iii.

One of the sophisms of Chrysippus was, "If you have not lost a thing, you have it."

Chrysippus. xi.

Pythagoras used to say that he had received as a gift from Mercury the perpetual transmigration of his soul, so that it was constantly transmigrating and passing into all sorts of plants or animals.

Pythagoras. iv.

He calls drunkenness an expression identical with ruin.[765-1]

Pythagoras. vi.

Among what he called his precepts were such as these: Do not stir the fire with a sword. Do not sit down on a bushel. Do not devour thy heart.[765-2]

Pythagoras. xvii.

In the time of Pythagoras that proverbial phrase "Ipse dixit"[765-3] was introduced into ordinary life.

Pythagoras. xxv.

Xenophanes was the first person who asserted . . . that the soul is a spirit.

Xenophanes. iii.

It takes a wise man to discover a wise man.

Xenophanes. iii.

Protagoras asserted that there were two sides to every question, exactly opposite to each other.

Protagoras. iii.

Nothing can be produced out of nothing.[766-1]

Diogenes of Apollonia. ii.

Xenophanes speaks thus:—

And no man knows distinctly anything, And no man ever will.

Pyrrho. viii.

Democritus says, "But we know nothing really; for truth lies deep down."

Pyrrho. viii.

Euripides says,—

Who knows but that this life is really death, And whether death is not what men call life?

Pyrrho. viii.

The mountains, too, at a distance appear airy masses and smooth, but seen near at hand, they are rough.[766-2]

Pyrrho. ix.

If appearances are deceitful, then they do not deserve any confidence when they assert what appears to them to be true.

Pyrrho. xi.

The chief good is the suspension of the judgment, which tranquillity of mind follows like its shadow.

Pyrrho. xi.

Epicurus laid down the doctrine that pleasure was the chief good.

Epicurus. vi.

He alludes to the appearance of a face in the orb of the moon.

Epicurus. xxv.

Fortune is unstable, while our will is free.

Epicurus. xxvii.


[757-1] See Pope, page 317. Also Plutarch, page 736.

[757-2] Meden agan, nequid nimis.

[758-1] De mortuis nil nisi bonum (Of the dead be nothing said but what is good.)—Of unknown authorship.

[758-2] See Hesiod, page 693.

[758-3] Quoted by Epictetus (Fragment lxii.), "Forgiveness is better than punishment; for the one is the proof of a gentle, the other of a savage nature."

[758-4] See Shakespeare, page 115.

[758-5] In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin.—Proverbs x. 19.

[758-6] See Publius Syrus, page 710.

[758-7] "How thick do you judge the planks of our ship to be?" "Some two good inches and upward," returned the pilot. "It seems, then, we are within two fingers' breadth of damnation."—RABELAIS: book iv. chap. xxiii.

[759-1] The story of Rip Van Winkle.

[759-2] See Milton, page 226.

[760-1] See Plutarch, page 738.

[760-2] See Garrison, page 605.

[760-3] See Walton, page 207.

In that [virtue] does happiness consist.—ZENO (page 764).

[760-4] See Chesterfield, page 353.

[761-1] All things are in common among friends.—DIOGENES (page 763).

[761-2] See Prior, page 288.

[761-3] See Publius Syrus, page 709.

[762-1] Quoted with great warmth by Dr. Johnson (Boswell).—LANGTON: Collectanea.

[762-2] See Pope, page 340.

[762-3] See Franklin, page 361.

[763-1] See Plutarch, page 733.

[763-2] See Terence, page 705. Also, page 761.

[763-3] The rich when he is hungry, the poor when he has anything to eat.—RABELAIS: book iv. chap. lxiv.

[763-4] The same is told of AEsop.

[764-1] See Mathew Henry, page 283.

[764-2] See Garrison, page 605.

[764-3] See Bacon, page 169.

[764-4] See page 762.

[764-5] See page 760.

[765-1] See Hall, page 457.

[765-2] See Spenser, page 30.

[765-3] Autos epha (The master said so).

[766-1] See Shakespeare, page 146.

[766-2] See Campbell, page 512.

ATHENAEUS. Circa 200 A. D.

(Translation by C. D. Yonge, B. A.)

It was a saying of Demetrius Phalereus, that "Men having often abandoned what was visible for the sake of what was uncertain, have not got what they expected, and have lost what they had,—being unfortunate by an enigmatical sort of calamity."[766-3]

The Deipnosophists. vi. 23.

Every investigation which is guided by principles of Nature fixes its ultimate aim entirely on gratifying the stomach.[767-1]

The Deipnosophists. vii. 11.

Dorion, ridiculing the description of a tempest in the "Nautilus" of Timotheus, said that he had seen a more formidable storm in a boiling saucepan.[767-2]

The Deipnosophists. viii. 19.

On one occasion some one put a very little wine into a wine-cooler, and said that it was sixteen years old. "It is very small for its age," said Gnathaena.

The Deipnosophists. xiii. 47.

Goodness does not consist in greatness, but greatness in goodness.[767-3]

The Deipnosophists. xiv. 46.


[766-3] Said with reference to mining operations.

[767-1] See Johnson, page 371.

[767-2] Tempest in a teapot.—Proverb.

[767-3] See Chapman, page 37.


When I am here, I do not fast on Saturday; when at Rome, I do fast on Saturday.[767-4]

Epistle 36. To Casulanus.

The spiritual virtue of a sacrament is like light,—although it passes among the impure, it is not polluted.[767-5]

Works. Vol. iii. In Johannis Evangelum, c. tr. 5, Sect. 15.


[767-4] See Burton, page 193.

[767-5] See Bacon, page 169.

ALI BEN ABI TALEB.[767-6] —— -660.

Believe me, a thousand friends suffice thee not; In a single enemy thou hast more than enough.[767-7]


[767-6] Ali Ben Abi Taleb, son-in-law of Mahomet, and fourth caliph, who was for his courage called "The Lion of God," was murdered A. D. 660. He was the author of a "Hundred Sayings."

[767-7] Translated by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and wrongly called by him a translation from Omar Khayyam.

Found in Dr. Hermann Tolowiez's "Polyglotte der Orientalischen Poesie."

Translated by James Russell Lowell thus:—

He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare, And he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere.

OMAR KHAYYAM. —— -1123.

(Translated by Edward Fitzgerald.)

I sometimes think that never blows so red The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled; That every Hyacinth the Garden wears Dropt in her Lap from some once lovely Head.

Rubaiyat. Stanza xix.

A Moment's Halt—a momentary taste Of BEING from the Well amid the Waste— And, Lo! the phantom Caravan has reach'd The NOTHING it set out from. Oh, make haste!

Rubaiyat. Stanza xlviii.

Heav'n but the Vision of fulfill'd Desire, And Hell the Shadow of a Soul on fire.

Rubaiyat. Stanza lxvii.

The Moving Finger writes; and having writ, Moves on; nor all your Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.

Rubaiyat. Stanza lxxi.

And this I know: whether the one True Light Kindle to Love, or Wrath-consume me quite, One Flash of It within the Tavern caught Better than in the Temple lost outright.

Rubaiyat. Stanza lxxvii.

And when like her, O Saki, you shall pass Among the Guests Star-scatter'd on the Grass, And in your blissful errand reach the spot Where I made One—turn down an empty Glass.

Rubaiyat. Stanza ci.


Had I been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.[768-1]


[768-1] Carlyle says, in his "History of Frederick the Great," book ii. chap. vii. that this saying of Alphonso about Ptolemy's astronomy, "that it seemed a crank machine; that it was pity the Creator had not taken advice," is still remembered by mankind,—this and no other of his many sayings.

DANTE. 1265-1321.

(Cary's Translation.)

All hope abandon, ye who enter here.

Hell. Canto iii. Line 9.

The wretched souls of those who lived Without or praise or blame.

Hell. Canto iii. Line 34.

No greater grief than to remember days Of joy when misery is at hand.[769-1]

Hell. Canto v. Line 121.


[769-1] See Longfellow, page 618.

FRANCOIS VILLON. Circa 1430-1484.

Where are the snows of last year?[769-2]

Des Dames du Temps jadis. i.

I know everything except myself.

Autre Ballade. i.

Good talkers are only found in Paris.

Des Femmes de Paris. ii.


[769-2] But where is last year's snow? This was the greatest care that Villon, the Parisian poet, took.—RABELAIS: book ii. chap. xiv.

MICHELANGELO. 1474-1564.

(Translation by Mrs. Henry Roscoe.)

As when, O lady mine! With chiselled touch The stone unhewn and cold Becomes a living mould. The more the marble wastes, The more the statue grows.


MARTIN LUTHER. 1483-1546.

A mighty fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing; Our helper He amid the flood Of mortal ills prevailing.

Psalm. Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott (trans. by Frederic H. Hedge).

Tell your master that if there were as many devils at Worms as tiles on its roofs, I would enter.[770-1]

Here I stand; I can do no otherwise. God help me. Amen!

Speech at the Diet of Worms.

For where God built a church, there the Devil would also build a chapel.[770-2]

Table-Talk. lxvii.

A faithful and good servant is a real godsend; but truly 't is a rare bird in the land.

Table-Talk. clvi.


[770-1] On the 16th of April, 1521, Luther entered the imperial city [of Worms]. . . . On his approach . . . the Elector's chancellor entreated him, in the name of his master, not to enter a town where his death was decided. The answer which Luther returned was simply this.—BUNSEN: Life of Luther.

I will go, though as many devils aim at me as there are tiles on the roofs of the houses.—RANKE: History of the Reformation, vol. i. p. 533 (Mrs. Austin's translation).

[770-2] See Burton, page 192.


I am just going to leap into the dark.[770-3]

Motteux's Life.

Let down the curtain: the farce is done.

Motteux's Life.

He left a paper sealed up, wherein were found three articles as his last will: "I owe much; I have nothing; I give the rest to the poor."

Motteux's Life.

One inch of joy surmounts of grief a span, Because to laugh is proper to the man.

To the Reader.

To return to our wethers.[771-1]

Works. Book i. Chap. i. n. 2.

I drink no more than a sponge.

Works. Book i. Chap. v.

Appetite comes with eating, says Angeston.[771-2]

Works. Book i. Chap. v.

Thought the moon was made of green cheese.

Works. Book i. Chap. xi.

He always looked a given horse in the mouth.[771-3]

Works. Book i. Chap. xi.

By robbing Peter he paid Paul,[771-4] . . . and hoped to catch larks if ever the heavens should fall.[771-5]

Works. Book i. Chap. xi.

He laid him squat as a flounder.

Works. Book i. Chap. xxvii.

Send them home as merry as crickets.

Works. Book i. Chap. xxix.

Corn is the sinews of war.[771-6]

Works. Book i. Chap. xlvi.

How shall I be able to rule over others, that have not full power and command of myself?

Works. Book i. Chap. lii.

Subject to a kind of disease, which at that time they called lack of money.

Works. Book ii. Chap. xvi.

He did not care a button for it.

Works. Book ii. Chap. xvi.

How well I feathered my nest.

Works. Book ii. Chap. xvii.

So much is a man worth as he esteems himself.

Works. Book ii. Chap. xxix.

A good crier of green sauce.

Works. Book ii. Chap. xxxi.

Then I began to think that it is very true which is commonly said, that the one half of the world knoweth not how the other half liveth.

Works. Book ii. Chap. xxxii.

This flea which I have in mine ear.

Works. Book iii. Chap. xxxi.

You have there hit the nail on the head.[771-7]

Works. Book iii. Chap. xxxiv.

Above the pitch, out of tune, and off the hinges.

Works. Book iv. Chap. xix.

I 'll go his halves.

Works. Book iv. Chap. xxiii.

The Devil was sick,—the Devil a monk would be; The Devil was well,—the devil a monk was he.

Works. Book iv. Chap. xxiv.

Do not believe what I tell you here any more than if it were some tale of a tub.

Works. Book iv. Chap. xxxviii.

I would have you call to mind the strength of the ancient giants, that undertook to lay the high mountain Pelion on the top of Ossa, and set among those the shady Olympus.[772-1]

Works. Book iv. Chap. xxxviii.

Which was performed to a T.[772-2]

Works. Book iv. Chap. xli.

He that has patience may compass anything.

Works. Book iv. Chap. xlviii.

We will take the good will for the deed.[772-3]

Works. Book iv. Chap. xlix.

You are Christians of the best edition, all picked and culled.

Works. Book iv. Chap. l.

Would you damn your precious soul?

Works. Book iv. Chap. liv.

Let us fly and save our bacon.

Works. Book iv. Chap. lv.

Needs must when the Devil drives.[772-4]

Works. Book iv. Chap. lvii.

Scampering as if the Devil drove them.

Works. Book iv. Chap. lxii.

He freshly and cheerfully asked him how a man should kill time.

Works. Book iv. Chap. lxii.

The belly has no ears, nor is it to be filled with fair words.[772-5]

Works. Book iv. Chap. lxii.

Whose cockloft is unfurnished.[772-6]

Works. The Author's Prologue to the Fifth Book.

Speak the truth and shame the Devil.[772-7]

Works. The Author's Prologue to the Fifth Book.

Plain as a nose in a man's face.[772-8]

Works. The Author's Prologue to the Fifth Book.

Like hearts of oak.[773-1]

Works. Prologue to the Fifth Book.

You shall never want rope enough.

Works. Prologue to the Fifth Book.

Looking as like . . . as one pea does like another.[773-2]

Works. Book v. Chapter ii.

Nothing is so dear and precious as time.[773-3]

Works. Book v. Chapter v.

And thereby hangs a tale.[773-4]

Works. Book v. Chapter iv.

It is meat, drink,[773-5] and cloth to us.

Works. Book v. Chapter vii.

And so on to the end of the chapter.

Works. Book v. Chapter x.

What is got over the Devil's back is spent under the belly.[773-6]

Works. Book v. Chapter xi.

We have here other fish to fry.[773-7]

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