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NEVEB TO BE BORN, OR EARLY DEATH, IS BEST. THE UNWRITTEN LAWS OF THE GODS.
Not to born is best of all; and if one has seen Nor did I deem thy edicts of such force that, the light, to go back to the place whence he came, mortal as thou art, thou hast the power to overas quickly as possible, is by far the next best. throw the firm and unwritten laws of the gods. For when youth comes, leading a train of idle fol. For these are not of to-day nor yesterday, but they lies, he is surrounded by many sorrows. What suf- live through all ages, and none knows whence fering is not there? Murders, seditions, strife, they spring. fightings, and envy; and loathsome old age is last seen of all-powerless, unsocial, friendless, when
STERN SPIRITS, all ills, worst of ills, dwell together
But know in truth that spirits too stern bend
most easily; and thou wilt most frequently see the MERCY.
hardest steel forged in the fire till brittle, shivered, Over every work is Mercy, joint assessor to Jove and broken; and I have known the most spirited on his throne.
horses brought into obedience by a small bit; for HIGI OFFICE TRIES A MAN.
no one ought to be proud who is the slave of
others. It is impossible to penetrate the secret thoughts, quality, and judgment of man till he is put to
KINGS. proof by high office and administration of the
Kings are happy in many other things and in laws.
this, that they can do and say whatever they REWARDS OFT LEAD TO RUIN.
please. But gain has oft with treacherous hopes led
THE WRETCHED. men to ruin.
For never does the original vigor of the mind GOLD.
remain to the unfortunate but it is changed. For never did such evil institution as money spring up to mortals: it lays waste cities, it drives
THE POWER OF GOD. men far from their homes to roam: it seduces 0 Jove, shall man with presumptuous pride and corrupts the honest mind, turning its virtuous control thy power ? whom neither enfeebling thoughts to deeds of baseness: it has taught men sleep ever seizes nor the months of the gods that villany and how to perform all impious works. roll on, unconscious of toil: through unwasting
| time, glorious in might, thou dwellest in heaven's UNJUST GAIN.
resplendent light. But this law, ordained in ages For by unjust gains thou wilt see more sink in past, is now, and will be forever, “in all the life ruin than triumph in success.
of mortals evil in every state her franchise claims." MAN THE CHIEF OF NATURE'S WORKS.
HOPE. Many wonderful things appear in nature but for hope with flattering dreams is the delight nothing more wonderful than man: he sails even
of many, and throws a deceitful illusion over through the foaming deep with the wintry south
man's light desires; ruin creeps on him unawares wind's blast, passing over the roaring billows; he before he trends on the treacherous fires. With furrows undecaying Earth, supreme of divinities
wisdom someone has uttered an illustrious immortal, as seed-times return from year to year,
saying: “that evil is deemed to be good by him turning up the soil with the horse's aid; ensnar
whose mind God leads to misery, but that he (God) ing the feathered tribes that skim the air, he
| practises this a short time without destroying takes them as his prey, and the savage beasts and
such an one." all the finny race of the deep with line-woven nets, be, all-inventive man; he tames by his skill the
ANARCHY AND ORDER. tenants of the fields, the mountain-ranging herds; I
There is no greater ill than anarchy; it destroys he brings under the neck-encircling yoke the
cities, lays houses in ruins, and, in the contest of shaggy-maned horse and the reluctant mountainball. He hath taught himself language and
the spear, breaks the ranks; but discipline saves Winged thought, and the customs of civic law, and
those who obey command; therefore we ought to
aid those who govern and never yield to a woman; to escape the cold and stormy arrows of comfortless frosts; with plans for all things, planless in
for better, if we must fall, to fall by men than nothing, meets he the future. But from death
that we should be declared subject to woman. alone he finds no refuge, though he has devised
WISDOM. remedies against racking diseases. Having a wonderful skill beyond all belief he descends now to Father, the gods implant wisdom in men, which evil and again ascends to virtue; observing the is the noblest of all treasures. laws of the land and the plighted justice of heaven, he rises high in the state; an outcast is he
A FATHER'S GLORY. who is dishonorable and audacious; may he, who What greater ornament is there to a son than a acts thus, not dwell with me nor rank among my father's glory, or what to a father than a son's friends.
honorable conduct ?
JOYS OF LIFE. For whoever thinks that he alone has wisdom or For when man knows no more the joys of life I power of speech or judgment such as no other has, do not consider him to live, but look upon him as such men, when they are known, are found to be the living dead. Nay, let his house be stored empty-brained. But it is no disgrace for even the with riches, if thou pleasest, and let him be atwise to learn and not obstinately to resist convic-tended with a monarch's pomp, yet, if heart-felt tion. Thvu seest how the trees that bend by the joys be absent, all the rest I would not purchase wintry torrents preserve their boughs, while those with the shadow of smoke when compared with that resist the blast fall uprooted. And so too real pleasures. the pilot who swells his sails without relaxing upsets his bark and floats with benches turned
A CLAMOROUS SORROW. upside down.
To me so deep a silence portends some dread
event, a clamorous sorrow wastes itself in sound. DESPOTISM.
SILENCE. That is not a commonwealth where one man
| There is something grievous in too great a lords it with despotic sway.
CALAMITIES. O Love! resistless in thy might, thou whol Calamities, present to the view, though slight, triumphest even over gold, making thy couch on are poignant. youth's soft cheek, who roamest over the deep and in the rural cots—thee none of the immortals shall
WISDOM LEADS TO HAPPINESS. escape nor any of men, the creatures of a day, but By far the best guide to happiness is wisdom, all who feel thee feel madness in their hearts. but irreverence to the gods is unbecoming; the Thou drawest aside the minds of the virtuous to mighty vaunts of pride, paying the penalty of unjust acts; thou hast raised this storm in hearts severe affliction, have taught old age, thus humby blood allied; desire, lighted up from the eyes bled, to be wise. of the boauteous bride, gains the victory and sits beside the mighty laws of heaven, for Venus
NO MAN BLESSED BEFORE DEATH. wantons without control.
There is an ancient saying, famed among men, Scott in his “ Lay of the Last Minstrel " (cant, iii. 2) says
that thou canst not judge fully of the life of men,
till death hath closed the scene, whether it should
be called blest or wretched.
CONSTANT CHANGE IN THE AFFAIRS OF LIFE.
For spangled night does not always spread its
shade for mortals, nor do sorrows and wealth re
main for aye, but are quickly gone; joy and grief TO ERR IS HUMAN.
succeed each other. To all of mortals to err is common; but having
A YOUNG WOMAN'S LIFE. erred, that man is not unblessed nor unadvised
Youth feeds on its own flowery pastures, where who, having fallen into error, heals the wound, nor
neither the scorching heat of heaven nor showers perseveres unmoved. It is the obdurate mind
nor any gale disturb it, but in pleasures it builds that incurs the imputation of folly.
up a life that knows no trouble, till the name of INSTRUCTION.
virgin is lost in that of wife, then receiving her
share of sorrows in the hours of night, anxious Most pleasant is instruction when it comes from for her husband or children. one who speaks wisely, and with it comes advantage.
It is not the same thing to speak on mere imagiTHE IMPIOUS.
| nation and to affirm a statement as certain. For the swift-footed vengeance of heaven cuts
SPEAK THE WHOLE TRUTH. short the impious.
But speak the whole truth; since for a freeman THE LAWS.
to be called a liar is a disgraceful stain on his
To those who err in judgment not in will we
should be gentle in our anger. It is not possible that I should praise or dispraise the life of man, whatever be its state; for
UNCERTAINTY OF LIFE." Fortune ever raises and casts down the happy and So that if man should make account of two days unhappy, and no man can divine the fates to or of more, he is a fool; for to-morrow is not till come.
| he has passed the present day without misfortune.
| recollection of a benefit melts from the thought, I fondly thought of happier days, whilst it de-| that man could never have been of generous noted nothing else but my death. To the dead birt there are no toils.
THE THOUGHTLESSNESS OF CHILDHOOD. TO DERIDE OUR ENEMIES.
The sweetest life Is that not the most grateful laugh that we in
Consists in feeling nothing. dulge against our enemies ?
“Ah! how regardless of their doom THE MODEST AND THE ARROGANT.
The little victims play!
No sense have they of ills to come, Seeing that it is so, utter no vain vaunt against
No care beyond to-day.” the gods nor swell with pride if thou excellest any one in valor or in thy stores of wealth, since a day
ULCERED WOUNDS. sinks all human things in darkness and again re For it is not the part of the skilful physician to stores them to light: the gods love the sober-scream a mystic charm when the sore requires the minded and abhor the impious.
THE GIFTS OF ENEMIES.
No, true is the popular adage: “The gifts of eneFor he who launches his bolt against noble per-I,
mies are no gifts, and fraught with mischief." sons could not miss; but if any were to bring this charge against me he would not be believed: for THE WEAKER GIVES WAY TO THE STRONGER. envy crawls towards the wealthy.
For all that is terrible and all that is mighty Shakespeare (“Henry VIII.," act i., sc. 2) says
gives way to higher power; for this reason the "If I am traduced by tongues, which neither know
snow-faced winters yield place to summer with its My faculties nor person, yet will be The chronicles of my doing-let me say,
beauteous fruits, and the dark circle of the night Tis but the fate of place.”
retires that the day with his white steeds may
flame forth in orient light; the fury of the fierce OUR OWN ILLS.
blasts lulls and leaves a calm on the tempestuous For to view ills all our own, where no associate deep: nay, even all-subduing sleep unbinds his shares the deed, racks the heart with deep pangs. chain nor always holds us captive. WOMEN.
Shakespeare (“Troilus and Cressida," act i., sc. 3) says,
“The heavens themselves, the planets, and this centre To women silence gives their proper grace.
Observe degree, priority, and place,
Insisture, course, proportion, season, form,
Office, and custom, in all line of order."
SO TO HATE AS TO BE AGAIN A FRIEND. NOTHING IN LIFE CAN GIVE ME JOY.
For this wisdom I have learned, that our enemy O darkness, now my light, O Erebus, now sole is only to be so far hated by us as one who, perbrightness to me, take me, ohl take me, a wretch chance, may again be our friend, and that I no longer worthy to behold the gods or men, should so far wish to aid my friend as if he were creatures of a day: me they naught avail.
not always to remain so; for the haven of friendShakespeare (“King John,” act iii., sc. 4) says
ship is not always secure to the majority of man"There's nothing in the world can make me joy;
For the seer declared that unwieldy and sense
less strength is wont to sink in ruin, crushed by POWER OF THE GODS.
the offended gods, when man of mortal birth asIf a god foil him, even the dastard shall escape pires with pride beyond a mortal. the brave man's vengeance.
THE IMPOTENT OF MIND.
For the impotent of mind, while they hold in For it is base to wish for length of life when their hands a treasure, know it not till it be there is no hope of a change of ills. What pleas-snatched from them. ure can day alternating with day present, when it! Shakespeare (“Much Ado about Nothing,” act iv., sc. 1) does nothing but either add or take away from saysthe necessity of dying? I would not buy at any
“For it so falls out, price the man who deludes himself with vain
That what we have we prize not to the worth hopes. No, to live with glory or with glory die,
Whiles we enjoy it; but being lacked and lost,
Why then we rack the value, then we find this is the brave man's part.
The virtue that possession would not show us
Whiles it was ours." GRATITUDE. It becomes a man, if he hath received aught GOD DOES EVERYTHING FOR MANKIND. grateful to his mind, to bear it in remembrance; I then would say that the gods devised both this it is kindness that gives birth to kindness: when I and everything else always for mankind.
So Psalms (cxlv. 15)—"The eyes of all wait upon Thee; and So John (1l. 25)—“For he knew what was in man."
TO DIE IS NOT THE GREATEST OF EVILS.
For death is not the most dreadful ill, but when And indeed it is the mark of a bad man when he we wish to die, and have not death within our that is now raised above the common rank scorns power. to obey his rulers. For in a state never can laws be well enforced where fear does not support their
LET THEM LAUGH THAT WIN. establishment, nor could an army be ruled sub
For when we shall have succeeded, then will be missively, if it were not awed by fear and rever- our time to rejoice and freely laugh. ence of their chiefs.
THE BASE AND THE GENEROUS. IN A JUST CAUSE WE MAY ASSUME CONFIDENCE.
Since never at any time hath the base perished, When the cause is just,
but of such the gods take special care, delighting An honest pride may be indulged,
to snatch the crafty and the guileful from Hades, Shakespeare (“ Henry VI.," part ii., act iii., sc. 2) says
whereas they are always sinking the just and up“Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just;
right in ruin. How shall we account for these And he but naked, though locked up in steel,
things, or how approve them? When I find the Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted."
gods unjust, how can I praise their heavenly gorA BOASTER.
ernance ? Not long ago I saw a man of doughty tongue
THE WORSE PREVAIL. urging his crew to sail while a storm threatened, whose voice thou couldst not hear when he was Where the worse has greater power than the surrounded by the tempest; but wrapt in his good, and all that is good is on the wane, and the cloak, he suffered every sailor's foot at will to coward prevails, such never will I hold dear. trample on him.
For whoever knows to requite a favor, must be Oh! could I be where the woody foreland. I a friend above all price. washed by the wave, beetles o'er the main, be
“THERE IS A TIDE IN THE AFFAIRS OF MEN." neath Sunium's lofty plain, that I might accost
Opportunity, be assured, possessing the power the sacred Athens.
over all things, acquires much power in its course. Byron says“ Place me on Sunium's marbled steep,
For the ills inflicted on men by the gods they
must sustain, but those involved in voluntary
miseries, as thou art, on these it is not just for any THE PRUDENT MIND PREVAILS.
one to bestow either pardon' or pity. For 'tis not the high-built frame, the massystructured limb, that yield most protection, no,
BASE DEEDS. the man of prudent mind everywhere prevails. For the mind that, like a parent, gives birth to The ox, though vast his bulk, is taught the straight base deeds, trains up everything else to become road by a small whip. And thee, I see, this disci-| base. pline will soon reach, if thy mind acquire not prudence, thou who art confident in insolence, and in
PIETY. tongue unbridled-no more a man, but a mere
For piety dies not with man; live they or die shadow.
they, it perishes not. Shakespeare (“Troilus and Cressida," act i., sc. 3) says
MAN CANNOT ESCAPE THE VENGEANCE OF GOD. “So that the rain, that batters down the wall, For the great swing and rudeness of his poise,
Man cannot escape the vengeance of God.
The bright eye of Vengeance sees and punishes THE DEAD.
the wicked. It is unjust to wrong the brave man when he is
VENGEANCE. dead, though hated by thee.
If thou hast committed iniquity, thou must POWER OF GOD IRRESISTIBLE.
expect to suffer; for Vengeance with its sacred When God afflicts him, not even a strong man
light shines upon thee. can escape.
TIME. So Isaiah (xxiii. 11)—“The Lord hath given a commandment to destroy the strongholds thereof."
Therefore, conceal nothing; for Time, that sees
| and hears all things, discovers everything. GOD KNOWS EVEN THE THOUGHTS OF MAN. I deem that, being God, thou knowest all things,
ONE GOOD TURN ASKS ANOTHER. though I be silent.
Grace begets grace.
So, too, Pope (Past. iv.)
"Nor rivers winding through the vales below, SOSICRATES, a comic poet, whose time is un
So sweetly warble, or so sweetly flow." known.
THE WISH OF A LOVER.
Would that I were a humming bee, and could We are quick to spy the evil conduct of others; fly to thy cave, creeping through the ivy and the but when we ourselves do the same, we are not fern, with which thou art covered in. Now I aware of it.
know Cupid a powerful god.
This is like the passage in Psalms (lv. 6)—"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest." And Pope (Past. iii. 88) says
“I know thee, Love; on foreign mountains bred.
Wolves gave thee suck, and savage tigers fed."
Courage, my friend Battus, to-morrow perhaps Hear, ve people! Susarion. son of Philinus, of will be more favorable; while there is life there is the village of Tripodiscus in Megaris, says this, hope, the
ethic-hope, the dead alone are without hope. Jove "Women are an evil; but yet, О fellow citizens! sh
but vat follow citizens shines brightly one day, and the next showers we cannot conduct our household affairs without
down rain. this evil. For to marry and not to marry is INJURIES FROM THOSE TO WHOM THOU HAST equally evil.”
BEEN KIND. See the result of my favors! It is like rearing wolf-whelps or dogs-to rend you for your pains.
So Matthew (vii. 6) says_"Neither cast ye your pearls be
fore swipe, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn THEOCRITUS.
again and rend you." FLOURISHED ABOUT B.C. 272.
A SYLVAN SCENE.
I shall not go thither, here are oaks, here is the THEOCRITUS, the most famous of all the pastoral | galingale, here bees hum sweetly around their poets, a native of Syracuse, was the son of Praxa-hives; here are two springs of coolest water, here goras and Philinna. He was the contemporary of birds warble on the trees, nor is there any shade Aratus, Callimachus, and Nicander. He celebrates equal to that beside thee, and the pine showers the younger Hiero; but his great patron was its cones from on high. Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, of whom he
| It may be compared with the celebrated passage in Shakesspeaks in terms of high commendation. Of his peare (Merchant of Venice." act v., so. 1) personal history we know nothing further. He " How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank! was the creator of bucolic poetry as a branch of Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music Greek, and, through imitators such as Virgil, of Creep in our ears; soft stillness and the night Roman literature. His pastorals have furnished
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
Sit, Jessica. Look how the floor of heaven models for all succeeding poets, and are remark
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold." able for their simplicity-very often elegant, but sometimes approaching to rudeness. Thirty Idyls
THE DOG OF POLYPHEMUS. bear his name; but it may be doubted whether
| Polyphemus! the shepherdess Galatea pelts thy they were all produced by the same poet.
flock with apples, calling thee a rude clown, in
| sensible to love; and thou lookest not at her, pinTHE SWEET MURMURING OF THE WOODS.
|ing in wretchedness, but sittest playing sweet Sweet is the music, O goat-herd, of yon whisper- strains on thy pipe. See, again she is pelting ing pine to the fountains, and sweetly, too, is thy dog, which follows to watch thy sheep. He thine, breathed from thy pipe.
barks, looking towards the sea; the beauteous Pope (Past. iv. 80) says
waves soft murmuring show him running to “In some still evening, when the whispering breeze and fro along the beach. Take heed lest he
Pants on the leaves, and dies among the trees." leap not on her, coming fresh from the sea-wave, And again, in the same Pastoral
and tear her fair flesh. But the soft morning * Thyrsis, the music of that murmuring spring
comes and goes like the dry thistle-down when Is not so mournful as the strains you sing."
summer glows. She pursues him who flies her, Virgil (Eclog. viii. 22) speaks of the "whispering pines." flies her pursuer, and moves the landmarks of
love's boundaries. For, Polyphemus, what is not THE MURMURING OF THE BROOKLET,
lovely often seems lovely to the lover. Sweeter, good shepherd, thy song than yonder Virgil (Eclog. ill. 64) saysgliding down of waters from the rock above.
“Malo me Galatea petit, lasciva puella." Thus Virgil (Eclog. v. 83)_"Nor am I so much charmed by
“Galatea, the wanton girl, pelts me with apples." the music of the waves beat back from the shore, nor of the
The coquettishness of woman is well expressed streamlets as they rush along the rocky valleys."