When a man's eyes are sore his friends do not let him finger them, however much he wishes to, nor do they themselves touch the inflammation: But a man sunk in grief suffers every chance comer to stir and augment his affliction like a running sore; and by reason of the fingering and consequent irritation it hardens into a serious and intractable evil."
Being conscious of having done a wicked action leaves stings of remorse behind it, which, like an ulcer in the flesh, makes the mind smart with perpetual wounds; for reason, which chases away all other pains, creates repentance, shames the soul with confusion, and punishes it with torment."
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?
The obligations of law and equity reach only to mankind; but kindness and beneficence should be extended to the creatures of every species, and these will flow from the breast of a true man, as streams that issue from the living fountain.
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.
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.
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.''
If you declare that you are naturally designed for such a diet, then first kill for yourself what you want to eat. Do it, however, only through your own resources, unaided by cleaver or cudgel or any kind of ax
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.
For, in the language of Heraclitus, the virtuous soul is pure and unmixed light, springing from the body as a flash of lightning darts from the cloud. But the soul that is carnal and immersed in sense, like a heavy and dank vapor, can with difficulty be kindled, and caused to raise its eyes heavenward.
The Epicureans, according to whom animals had no creation, doe suppose that by mutation of one into another, they were first made; for they are the substantial part of the world; like as Anaxagoras and Euripides affirme in these tearmes: nothing dieth, but in changing as they doe one for another they show sundry formes.
Poverty is never dishonourable in itself, but only when it is a mark of sloth, intemperance, extravagance, or thoughtlessness. When, on the other hand, it is the handmaid of a sober, industrious, righteous, and brave man, who devotes all his powers to the service of the people, it is the sign of a lofty spirit that harbours no mean thoughts
Since, during storms, flames leap from the humid vapors and dark clouds emit deafening noises, is it surprising the lightning, when it strikes the ground, gives rise to truffles, which do not resemble plants?
To the Greeks, the supreme function of music was to "praise the gods and educate the youth". In Egypt... Initiatory music was heard only in Temple rites because it carried the vibratory rhythms of other worlds and of a life beyond the mortal.
While Leonidas was preparing to make his stand, a Persian envoy arrived. The envoy explained to Leonidas the futility of trying to resist the advance of the Great King's army and demanded that the Greeks lay down their arms and submit to the might of Persia. Leonidas laconically told Xerxes, "Come and get them.
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.
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.
Pompey had fought brilliantly and in the end routed Caesar's whole force... but either he was unable to or else he feared to push on. Caesar [said] to his friends: 'Today the enemy would have won, if they had had a commander who was a winner.
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.
But being overborne with numbers, and nobody daring to face about, stretching out his hands to heaven, [Romulus] prayed to Jupiter to stop the army, and not to neglect but maintain the Roman cause, now in extreme danger. The prayer was no sooner made, than shame and respect for their king checked many; the fears of the fugitives changed suddenly into confidence.
For there is no virtue, the honor and credit for which procures a man more odium than that of justice; and this, because more than any other, it acquires a man power and authority among the common people.
The flatterer's object is to please in everything he does; whereas the true friend always does what is right, and so often gives pleasure, often pain, not wishing the latter, but not shunning it either, if he deems it best.
Foreign lady once remarked to the wife of a Spartan commander that the women of Sparta were the only women in the world who could rule men. "We are the only women who raise men," the Spartan lady replied....
As to Caesar, when he was called upon, he gave no testimony against Clodius, nor did he affirm that he was certain of any injury done to his bed. He only said, He had divorced Pompeia because the wife of Caesar ought not only to be clear of such a crime, but of the very suspicion of it.
Julius Caesar divorced his wife Pompeia, but declared at the trial that he knew nothing of what was alleged against her and Clodius. When asked why, in that case, he had divorced her, he replied: Because I would have the chastity of my wife clear even of suspicion.
If any man think it a small matter, or of mean concernment, to bridle his tongue, he is much mistaken; for it is a point to be silent when occasion requires, and better than to speak, though never so well.
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.