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What most of all enables a man to serve the public is not wealth, but content and independence; which, requiring no superfluity at home, distracts not the mind from the common good.
What sort of tree is there which will not, if neglected, grow crooked and unfruitful; what but Will, if rightly ordered, prove productive and bring its fruit to maturity? What strength of body is there which will not lose its vigor and fall to decay by laziness, nice usage, and debauchery?
When Anaxagoras was told of the death of his son, he only said, "I knew he was mortal." So we in all casualties of life should say "I knew my riches were uncertain, that my friend was but a man." Such considerations would soon pacify us, because all our troubles proceed from their being unexpected.
When I myself had twice or thrice made a resolute resistance unto anger, the like befell me that did the Thebans; who, having once foiled the Lacedaemonians (who before that time had held themselves invincible), never after lost so much as one battle which they fought against them.
When malice is joined to envy, there is given forth poisonous and feculent matter, as ink from the cuttle-fish.
When one is transported by rage, it is best to observe attentively the effects on those who deliver themselves over to the same passion.
When Philip of Macedon was told that a certain city was impregnable, "Is there not a pathway to it," he asked, "wide enough for an ass laden with gold!"
When two discourse, if the one's anger rise,
The man who lets the contest fall is wise.
Whenever anything is spoken against you that is not true, do not pass by or despise it because it is false; but forthwith examine yourself, and consider what you have said or done that may administer a just occasion of reproof.
Wickedness is a wonderfully diligent architect of misery, of shame, accompanied with terror, and commotion, and remorse, and endless perturbation.
Wisdom is neither gold, nor silver, nor fame, nor wealth, nor health, nor strength, nor beauty.
Sacrifice to the Muses.
- Banquet of the Seven Wise Men [Sacrifice]
When the candles are out all women are fair.
- Conjugal Precepts [Beauty]
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 [Misfortune]
My personal attendant does not think so much of these things as I do.
- De Iside (ch. XXIV) [Heroes]
I have heard that Tiberius used to say that that man was ridiculous, who after sixth years, appealed to a physician.
- De Sanitate tuenda (vol. II) [Medicine]
Themistocles told the Adrians that he brought two gods with him, Persuasion and Force. They replied: "We also, have two gods on our side, Poverty and Despair."
- Herodotus [Gods]
A Locanian having plucked all the feathers off from a nightingale and seeing what a little body it had, "surely," quoth he, "thou art all voice and nothing else." (Vox et praeterea nibil.)
- Laconic Apothegms,
credited to Lacon "Incert. XIII" by Lipsius
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."
- Laconic Apothegms--Remarkable Speeches of Some Obscure Men
Abstruse questions must have abstruse answers.
- Life of Alexander [Speech]
O man! whosoever thou art, and whensoever thou comest, for come I know thou wilt, I am Cyrus, founder of the Persian empire. Envy me not the little earth that covers my body.
- Life of Alexander--Epitaph of Cyrus
Passing the Rubicon.
- Life of Caesar,
said of Caesar who, when advancing against Pompey, arrived at the Rubicon, which divides Cisalpine Gaul from the rest of Italy, and stated "The die is cast." ("Jacta alea est.")
[Proverbial Phrases : War]
"Thou shalt see me at Phillipi," was the remark of the spectre which appeared to Brutus in his tent at Abydos [B.C. 42]." Brutus answered boldly: "I will meet thee there." At Phillip the spectre reappeared, and Brutus, after being defeated, died upon his own sword.
- Life of Caesar--Life of Marcus Brutus
The richest soil, if uncultivated, produces the rankest weeds.
- Life of Caius Marcus Coriolanus [Weeds]
He [Cato] used to say that in all his life he never repented but of three things. The first was that he had trusted a woman with a secret; the second that he had gone by sea when he might have gone by land; and the third, that had passed one day without having a will by him.
- Life of Cato (vol. II, p. 495),
(Langhorne's translation) [Repentance]
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