페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

were clear, the two things would not have the

THE DEMAGOGUE. same letters.

| For those who are worthless among the wise are

| best fitted to charm the rabble. THE INFLUENCE OF HIGH RANK. For when base deeds appear right to those of highest rank, all below them esteem them as ob

EXILE. jects of honest imitation.

For a speedy death is best to the wretched; but

wandering an exile from thy fatherland, thou shalt A PARENT'S MISDEEDS.

drag out a life of bitterness; for this is the reward For it enslaves a man, though he be valiant-| for the impious. hearted, when he is conscious of a mother's or a father's misdeeds. This alone, an honest and good

THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE GUILTY, name, to whomsoever it belongs, possesses a worth For gods rejoice not when the pious die; the excelling life; it is time, when it so chances, that wicked, however, with their children and houses, shows the bad, as a mirror reflects a virgin's fair we utterly destroy. face; never among such may I be seen.

THE GREAT.
PRILE.

For the sad stories of the great make a deep im.
For this is nothing else than pride to wish to be pression.
superior, to be gods.
So Proverbs (xvi. 3)—“Every one that is proud in heart is

THE ENMITY OF RELATIONS IS DREADFUL. an abomination to the Lord."

How dreadful, mother, is the enmity of relations, FLATTERY.

and how difficult a reconciliation. It is this that ruins many a well-built city and houses—this glozing speech. We want not words

BEAR WITH PATIENCE THE CALAMITIES OF LIFE. that charm the ear, but what excites to virtuous We ought to submit to the inflictions of the gods. leeds.

So 2 Corinthians (vi. 4)—“But in all things approving ourDECEIT RECOMMENDED.

selves as the ministers of God, in much patience." My tongue indeed hath sworn, but not my mind.

RICH HAVINGS WIN RESPECT.

It is a proverb long ago sung, but which I shall WOMAN.

nevertheless repeat, “Wealth is most honored By this, too, it is evident that woman is a great among men, and brings to them the greatest il; for the father, who begot and brought her up, | power.” ives her a dowry and sends her away, to be rid of

• PRECIPITATE HASTE. he evil. But the husband, on the other hand, Then he has received the bane into his house, re- Precipitate haste les

Precipitate haste leads to injustice, but slowlypices, and puts splendid ornaments on the vile matured counsels bring forth deeds of wisdom. mage, tricking her out with robes, unhappy man! xhausting all the riches of his house upon her. HOW A RECONCILIATION OUGHT TO BE BROUGHT fat he makes a virtue of necessity, for, having

ABOUT. llied himself to noble kinsmen, he retains with When a friend is angry with his friend, let him peming joy his uneasy bed, or, if he has received meet him face to face, and fix his eyes on his good bride, but worthless parents-in-law, he for- friend's eyes, remembering only the object for ets the evil in consideration of the good. Hap-1 which he is come, and forgetting all former grievier is he who leads to his house a plain, gentle- ances. earted, simple wife. I hate the knowing dame; tay there not be in my house one more wise than IF ALL JUDGED ALIKE, THERE WOULD BE NO roman ought to be. For Venus with ease engen

DISPUTES. ers wiles in these knowing dames; but a woman If the same thing were judged honorable alike f simple capacity, by reason of her small under-by all, and also wise, no contest or debate would tanding, is removed from folly.

arise among men; but now nothing is the same or

like except the names; each gives his own meanWE JUDGE BY THE EVENT.

ing to them. If I had been successful, I would have assuredly een ranked among the wise; for our reputation

AMBITION. ir wisdom depends much on our success.

Why, my child, dost thou court ambition, the

most baneful of deities? Do it not, she is an unTHE FOOL.

just goddess. For often hath she entered into O men erring in many things ! why do ye teach houses and flourishing cities, and issued forth in thousand arts, contriving and inventing every-again, bringing destruction on those who welcomed zing ? but one thing you know not, nor yet have her. Of such an one thou art madly enamored. arched out, to teach that man wisdom who is My child, it is nobler to pay honor to equality, Did of sense.

which ever knits friends to friends, states to states,

[ocr errors]

and allies to allies ; for equality is sanctioned bothers, having nothing, and short of the means of life, by nature and by human laws. Whereas the less are clamorous, much addicted to envy, aiming their is always at enmity with the greater, and hence bitter shafts against the rich, and led away by the springs the day of hatred. For it was equality tongues of evil leaders. Betwixt these extremes that established measures among men, and weights there are those who save the state, guarding the and numbers. The dark eye of night and the light laws which the state may appoint. of the sun equally walk their yearly round, and neither of them being inferior, envies the other. NO ONE HAPPY TO THE END OF LIFE. Thus the sun and the night equally serve mortals, For in regard to the affairs of mortals, there is and wilt thou not brook equality and give up his nothing happy throughout. share to him? Then, where is justice? Why dost thou honor so extravagantly the royal state-a

THE DUTY OF A SON TO HIS PARENTS. prosperous injustice-and think so highly of her ? | To be conspicuous ?-a mere empty glory. Or

Unhappy the child who does not help his parwouldst thou labor to have thy house full of riches? | ents, a most honorable service; for he receives And what is this abundance ? 'tis nothing but a back from

nce itis nothing but a back from his children what he has bestowed on name, since what is sufficient is abundance to the his parents. wise. Man enjoys his stores, not as his own, but as the gifts of the gods, who, when they choose,

THE DEMAGOGUE. again resume them.

We have not there the inflated demagogue, who, So Proverbs (xxiii. 5)—“Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that putting the people up with words, turns th which is not ? for riches certainly make themselves wings; terest prompts him. For he that is pleasant, and they fly away as an eagle toward heaven."

winds himself into their hearts to-day, offends to

morrow; then, with fresh calumnies cloaking his THE NECESSITY OF FATE.

former errors, he escapes from justice. And then For a mortal must endure the necessity of fate how can a people rightly guide a city who do not proceeding from the gods.

examine minutely the reasons that are brought

forward ? For time gives wisdom superior to imTHE RICH AND THE POOR.

prudent haste. But a poor laborer of the soil, even It is good for the prosperous to cast their eye on if he were not unschooled in knowledge, cannot, the poor, and for the poor to look upward to the from his very employment, be able to look to the rich with a feeling of rivalry, that the desire of common weal. Surely ill fares it with the better wealth may spur on the one, and the high fortune ranks when those of low degree hold dignity, of the other may fear a sad change.

“ wielding at will the fierce democracy," rising

from base obscurity. THE BENEFICENCE OF THE DEITY. With others, indeed, I have disputed the ques-"THE LAND WHERE, GIRT WITH FRIENDS OR FOES, tion: for some assert that the ills of life outweigh A MAN MAY SPEAK THE THING HE WILL." the good to man. But my opinion is the opposite, There is no greater evil to a state than a tyrant, I believe that blessings are more abundant; for, if when in the first and chiefest place the laws hold it were not so, we should not enjoy the light of not one common tenor, but one man, lording it life. The Being who called us forth from foul and over the laws, keeps it to himself: here is no savage life I thank, enduing us with reason, and equality. Where the laws are written, the weak then giving us the tongue as the messenger of land powerful have equal justice, and the lower words, so as to distinguish speech; the growth of ranks, when wronged, can answer the higher in fruits he gave, and for that growth the heaven-| bold words; the weaker, with justice on its side descending rain, that it might nourish the fruits triumphs over the great. This is to be free. Is of the earth and sustain the stomach; besides, he there a man fraught with good counsel, useful to invented coverings against the cold of winter, and the state ? He speaks it, and becomes illustrious: to ward off the burning heat of the sun, and the

else, if he chooses, he holds his peace. What can sailing over the sea, that we might exchange with

there be more just than this? And then, when each other the fruits which each wants.

the people are sovereigns of the land, it glories in See St. Paul's speech at Lystra (Acts xiv. 17)—"He left not its valiant youth; while a tryant hates such a Himself without witness, in that He did good, and gave us state of things, and slays the best men, who he rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, Alling our hearts with food and gladness." See also Psalm civ. throughout.

thinks are wise, fearing for his power. How then, can a state become strong, when ruthless

power cuts off each brave spirit, and mows down THE INNOCENT INVOLVED WITH THE GUILTY.

each opening floweret, like the crops in the ver For the Deity, deeming fortune the same to all, I nal meadow ? is wont to involve with him that is guilty the man that is innocent and has done no evil.

DISCRETION IS VALOR.

A wise man's love streams first to his children THERE ARE THREE CLASSES IN EACH STATE. I then to his parents and country, which he should

There are three classes of citizens; some are desire to raise to glory and not to crush. Danger rich, listless, and yet ever craving for more; oth-lous is a daring pilot and sailor in a ship; wise

he who knows his time to moor it in safety. To twice young, twice old, when we made a mistake, my mind discretion is valor.

having this twofold life, we could correct it. 1 Shakespeare makes Falstaff (“King Henry IV." part i. act

MOURNING FOR THE DEATH OF A DAUGHTER. 4. scene 4) say

Be it so. What must I, wretched, do? Go “The better part of valor is discretion."

home, and there see the sad desolation of my and “Othello" (act ii, scene 3)—

home, and loneliness of my life? Or shall I go to " Let's teach ourselves that honorable stop,

the dwelling of this Capaneus ? Most pleasant, Not to out-sport discretion."

| indeed, it was to me before, when my daughter

was yet living, but she lives no longer; then she WAR NOT WITH THE DEAD,

used to caress my beard and stroke this head with * I deem it right to bury the dead, from no desire her hand. Nothing is dearer to an aged sire than - to injure the city or bring on man-slaying contests, a daughter; sons have spirits of higher pitch, but

but preserving the common law of Greece. What are less inclined to endearing fondness. Will you is there wrong in this ? For suppose you have not speedily lead me to my house, and give me up suffered from the Argives, they are now dead; ye to darkness, when I may perish, wasting away my have driven them away with credit to yourselves aged frame with fastings? What will it avail me and disgrace to them, and thus justice has been to touch the bones of my child ? O age! difficult done. Allow the dead to be entombed in the to be contended with, how I hate thee when I earth; for each part that forms the frame of man, have reached thee, and hate all who are anxious must return whence it came, the soul to the ethe- to lengthen out existence with food, drink, and real sky, the body to the earth. For we do not spells, turning aside the stream of life so as not to possess this body as our own save to dwell in dur-die! It is more fitting for thee, naught but a use ing this breathing space of life, and then we must less burden upon earth, to pass away in death

give it back to the earth that sustained it. Dost and make room for the young. - thou think to do injury to Argos only by not bury

AFFLICTION FOR DEATH OF CHILDREN. ing the dead? By no means; this is a question

For what greater grief canst thou find out for tommon to all Greece, if any deprive the dead of their right, keeping them unburied; for it would

wula mortals than to see their children dead ? be a disgrace to the brave if such a law were al

HOPE ALWAYS. lowed to hold good.

That is the noble man, who is full of confident

hopes; the abject soul despairs. LIFE IS A STRUGGLE. But, ye silly men, learn the state of man; our

THE GOOD. life is a struggle: some gain the prize early, some Are not the good, though slow to speak, oft prohereafter, some now; for fortune plays the wanton. voked to give vent to their feelings? By the wretched she is greatly honored, that she may favor him, while the prosperous hold her in

SEDITION high honor, dreading the veering gale.

For a city does not prosper that shakes with

sedition and is rent by evil counsels. COURAGE VAIN.

FATE. Courage profits men naught, if God denies His

For whosoever strives against heaven-sent car

lamities, his striving is folly. What must be, no VANITY OF MEN.

one will ever make so that it be not. Vain mortals! stretching the bow beyond what bfitting, and justly suffering many ills, ye yield

INCONSTANCY OF HUMAN THINGS. not to the advice of friends, but learn only from But ye old men, brief is the space of life allotted -1 circumstances.

to you; pass it as pleasantly as ye can, not griev

ing from morn till eve. Since time knows not how THE BRAVE MAN.

to preserve our hopes, but, attentive to its own For when a man is brought up honorably, he concerns, flies away. feels ashamed to act basely; every one trained to noble deeds blushes to be found recreant; valor

YOUTH AND AGE. may be taught, as we teach a child to speak, to Youth is dear to me, but age ever lies upon my | hear those things which he knows not; such love head a heavier burden than the rocks of Ætna,

as the child learns he retains with fondness to old dimming mine eyelids with sober veil. I would age-strong incitements to train your children well. not have the riches of Asia's throne, nor that my

house should shine with gold, in preference to TO BE TWICE YOUNG.

youth, which is fairest in wealth and fairest in Alas! why is it not permitted to mortals twice poverty. Sad and funereal age I abhor. Hence to be young, and thence return once more to old may it perish in the billows, and never enter the age For in our domestic affairs, if aught be ill-houses and cities of men, but be borne on wings conducted, we put it right by after thoughts, but through the air. But if the gods had understood we have not this power over life. If we could be and been wise in the affairs un inco, they would

have bestowed a twofold youth, as an undoubted | NO ONE HAPPY BEFORE HIS DEATH. mark of virtue, upon such as shared it; and after! By nis present fortune he proclaims aloud to all death they would have returned a second time to this truth not

to this truth, not to envy the man who seems pros the light of the sun, whereas baseness would have

perous, ere we see his death, as fortune is but for had a single term of life, and in this way would låday the bad and good have been distinguished, in the same way as amidst the clouds the stars are a THE HIGH-BORN OUGHT TO BE TRUTHFUL. guide to the sailors. Whereas now there is no certain mark given by the gods to distinguish the

In such noble people as you the mouth ought to

be truthful. good and bad, but time, as it revolves, is studious of wealth alone.

HIGH AND HUMBLE LIFE.

· I envy the man who has passed through life DESCRIPTION OF MADNESS.

without danger, to the world, to fame unknown,

not those raised to greatness. · Iris. The wife of Jove did not surely send thee hither, to show thy wisdom.

THE WILY TONGUE. Madness. I swear by the sun that I am doing

|

The

The tongue cunning to excite envy is an evil. what I desire not to do. But if I must needs be subservient to Juno and thee, I must follow

THE WAVERER. swiftly and with a rush, as dogs follow the hunts

The wavering mind is a base possession, not to man. On I go; not the sea raging with billows, be to

| be trusted by friends. . nor the rocking earthquake, nor the thunder's

rage inflicting pangs, is so furious as I when I THE CUNNING CANDIDATE FOR POWER. rush with racing speed against the breast of

Thou knowest when thou wast striving to gain

Thon knowest, when thou wast strie Hercules. And I shall break down these walls the leadership of the Greeks against Troy-in and desolate his house, having first caused him to appearance careless of the honor, but secretly slay his children; but he that kills them shall not desirous of it-how humble thou wast, shaking know that they are his sons who fall beneath his every one by the hand, and keeping open door to hands, till he has respite from my madness. See all who wished to enter; giving audience to all in even now he shakes his head, standing at the bar-turn, even if he wished it not, seeking by affability riers, and rolls in silence his distorted gorgon eyes. to buy popularity among the multitude. And And he has no command over his breathing; like a then when thou wert successful, changing thy bull prepared for the onslaught, he bellows dread-mode of acting, thou wast no longer the same ti fully, invoking the Furies from Tartarus. Quickly

thy old friends, difficult of access, and seldom shall I rouse thee to the dance, and give forth

within doors. Ill does it become an honest mar music rife with terror. Away, Iris, to Olympus, when prosperous to change his manners, but raising thy noble foot; but we shall enter unseen rather then to be staunch to his friends, when by the abode of Hercules.

his changed position he can serve them.

INGRATITUDE.

THE RULER OF A STATE. I abhor the gratitude of friends that grows old, I would not make any one ruler of a state o: and those, too, who wish to share the prosperous general of an army on account of his wealth: the gale, but forsake the bark in adverse storms.

leader should have wisdom: every man sage ir

counsel is a leader, GOD IS ALL-SUFFICIENT.

THE NOBLE AND IGNOBLE. For God, if he be really God, wants nothing. What advautages attend ignoble birth! Such These are but the miserable tales of poets. persons are at liberty to weep and bemoan them

selves, but to the noble this is denied. We havi THE VIRTUOUS.

pride as the guide of our life, and are slaves to the For among the virtuous disgrace is considered

people. before life.

LOVE. So Revelation (ii. 10)—“Be thou faithful unto death, and I

Blest are they who enjoy the nuptial couch o will give thee a crown of life."

Aphrodite, the temperate and modest goddess

obtaining a calm from those maddening stings : TWO TO ONE IS ODDS.

when Love with golden locks bends both his bow

of graces, one for a prosperous fate, the other fo Weak the conflict of one hand.

life's wild tumult. I deprecate, O fairest Venus

the latter; but mine be love's temperate grace WOMAN.

the holy flame of chaste desire; mine be mile For silence and modesty are the best ornaments Venus and not ungoverned passion. of a woman, and to remain quietly within the house.

THE POWERFUL. So 1 Corinthians (xiv. 34)—“Let your women keep silence

To th' inferior ranks of life in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak." The powerful and the wealthy are as gods.

A DAUGHTER.

THE GODS SAVE WHOM THEY LOVE. It is good that a daughter leave her home, but The gods dispense to men what is unlooked for, yet it pains a father's heart when he delivers a and those whom they love they save. child to another house, the object of his tender care.

ENDURE DEATH WITH' PATIENCE.
A WIFE.

I esteem not him to be wise who, when he sees A wise man should have a useful and good wife death near, tries to overcome its terrors with wailin his house, or not marry at all.

ings, being without hope of safety, since he thus has two ills instead of one, and makes his folly

known, dying none the less. But one must needs A MOTHER.

let fortune have its way. Childbirth is painful, and yet a child is a matter of great endearment; 'tis common to the whole

WOMAN QUICK TO FORM DEVICES. human race to toil on behalf of children.

To form devices quick is woman's wit.
LEAN NOT TO YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING.
There is a time when it is pleasant not to build

WOMEN A FAITHLESS RACE. too much on our own wisdom; but then, again, See how faithless is the female race! and ye are there is a time when it is useful to exert our judg-1 partners in what has been done. ment.

TO FIGHT AGAINST THE GODS. So Proverbs (ili. 5)—"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."

What benefit is there to fight against the power

ful gods? TO TOUCH WITH THE TIP OF THE FINGER. King Agamemnon will not touch thy daughter

THE COWARD IS VALIANT IN THE DARK. even with the tip of his finger, so as to lay hold of In darkness a runaway has mighty strength. her garment.

MEN HAVE DIFFERENT NATURES. Our Saviour (Luke xl. 46) says of the Pharisees, that they “will not touch with one of their fingers " the burthens

| Nature grants to none to know all things; one which they lay on others; and Cicero (pro Coel: 12) says—"To gift belongs to one, another to another; to thee, touch, so to speak, with the finger-tips."

indeed, to fight,-but to others, to give good coun

sel. EXCESS OF PRAISE.

A GLORIOUS DEATH. The noble, if praised, hate in a certain degree those who praise them, if they praise too much.

| To die, if a man must die, is no doubt painful

to him that dies: for how should it not be so ? THE DISTRESSED,

but if with glory to the living, it is a pride and

renown for one's family. But, in fact, the good man, even though he be a stranger, has good reason to assist the distressed.

A STATE IN ADVERSITY. So Burns (“Winter Night”)

For when sad calamity befalls a state the gods

are neglected, and there is no desire to honor "Affliction's sons are brothers in distress;

them.
A brother to relieve, how exquisite the bliss."

AFFLICTION.
SILENCE GIVES CONSENT.

Yet there is good reason to invoke the gods
E' en thy silence and thy sighs

when we fall into affliction. Confess it.

THE DEAD,
DUTY OF A WIFE.

The tearless dead forgets his sorrows.
When I was reconciled to thee and thy house,

TEARS. thou wilt thyself bear witness how irreproachable a wife I was, modest and adding to the splendor How sweet are tears to those who have fared ill, of thy house, so that both going in and going out and strains of lamentation and the Muse, who thou wast blest. A wife like this is a rare prize: / tunes her notes to woe! the worthless are not rare.

THE DEAD.
LIFE.

My child, to die is not the same as to behold the To enjoy the light of heaven is most sweet to light or day; for the one is nothing, wbile in the mortals; things below are nothing; mad is he who other there are hopes. prays for death; to live in misery is better than anything there is of good in death.

TO FALL FROM HIGH FORTUNE.

Not to be born and to die I deem to be the same; THE MULTITUDE,

but to die is far better than to live in misery, for The many are, indeed,

he knows no grief who does not feel his misery. A dreadful ill.

But to fall from high fortune to abject wretched

« 이전계속 »