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So in the Libyan fable it is told
That once an eagle, stricken with a dart,
Said, when he saw the fashion of the shaft,
“ With our own feathers, not by others' hands,
Are we now smitten.” 1

Frag. 135 (trans. by Plumptre).
Of all the gods, Death only craves not gifts :
Nor sacrifice, nor yet drink-offering poured
Avails; no altars hath he, nor is soothed
By hymns of praise. From him alone of all
The powers of heaven Persuasion holds aloof.

Frag. 146 (trans. by Plumptre).
O Death the Healer, scorn thou not, I pray,
To come to me: of cureless ills thou art
The one physician. Pain lays not its touch
Upon a corpse.

Frag. 250 (trans. by Plumptre). A prosperous fool is a grievous burden.

Frag. 383. Bronze is the mirror of the form; wine, of the heart.

Frag. 384. It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath.

Frag. 385.

SOPHOCLES. 496–406 B. C.

Think not that thy word and thine alone must be right.

Antigone, 706. Death is not the worst evil, but rather when we wish to die and cannot.

Electra, 1007. There is an ancient saying, famous among men, that thou shouldst not judge fully of a man's life before he dieth, whether it should be called blest or wretched.2

Trachiniæ, 1. In a just cause the weak o'ercome the strong. 3

Edipus Coloneus, 880. 1 See Waller, page 219.

2 The saying “Call no man happy before he dies” was ascribed to Solon. Herodotus, i. 32.

8 See Marlowe, page 40.

A lie never lives to be old.

Acrisius. Frag. 59. Nobody loves life like an old man.

Frag. 63. A short saying oft contains much wisdom.

Aletes. Frag. 99. Do nothing secretly; for Time sees and hears all things, and discloses all.

Hipponous. Frag. 280. It is better not to live at all than to live disgraced.

Peleus. Frag. 445. War loves to seek its victims in the young.

Scyrii. Frag. 507. If it were possible to heal sorrow by weeping and to raise the dead with tears, gold were less prized than grief.

Frag. 510. Children are the anchors that hold a mother to life.

Phædra. Frag. 619. The truth is always the strongest argument. Frag. 737. The dice of Zeus fall ever luckily.

Frag. 809. Fortune is not on the side of the faint-hearted.

Frag. 842. No oath too binding for a lover.

Frag. 848. Thoughts are mightier than strength of hand.

Frag. 854. A wise player ought to accept his throws and score them, not bewail his luck.

Frag. 862. If I am Sophocles, I am not mad; and if I am mad, I am not Sophocles.

Vit. Anon. p. 64 (Plumptre's Trans.).

EURIPIDES. 484-406 B. C.

Old men's prayers for death are lying prayers, in which they abuse old age and long extent of life. But when death draws near, not one is willing to die, and age no longer is a burden to them.

Alcestis. 669.

1 See Shakespeare, page 133.

The gifts of a bad man bring no good with them.





Moderation, the noblest gift of Heaven.

I know, indeed, the evil of that I purpose; but my inclination gets the better of my judgment."

There is in the worst of fortune the best of chances for a happy change.?

Iphigenia in Tauris. Slowly but surely withal moveth the might of the gods.

Bacchæ. 882.


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Thou didst bring me forth for all the Greeks in common, not for thyself alone.

Iphigenia in Aulis. 1386. Slight not what's near through aiming at what's far. 4

Rhesus. 482. The company of just and righteous men is better than wealth and a rich estate.

Ægeus. Frag. 7. A bad beginning makes a bad ending. Ævlus. Frag. 32.

Time will explain it all. He is a talker, and needs no questioning before he speaks.

Frag. 38. Waste not fresh tears over old griefs.

Alexander. Frag. 44. The nobly born must nobly meet his fate.

Alcmene. Frag. 100. Woman is woman's natural ally. Alope. Frag. 109. Man's best possession is a sympathetic wife.

Antigone. Frag. 164. Ignorance of one's misfortunes is clear gain.

Antiope. Frag. 204.


1 See Shakespeare, page 60. Also Garth, pase 295. 2 The darkest hour is that before the dawn. — Hazlitt: English Proverbs. 8 See Herbert, page 206. 4 See Heywood, page 15. 5 Noblesse oblige. — Boax: Foreign Prorerbs. 6 See Davenant, page 217.

Try first thyself, and after call in God;
For to the worker God himself lends aid.1

Hippolytus. Frag. 435. Second thoughts are ever wiser.2

Frag. 436. Toil, says the proverb, is the sire of fame.

Licymnius. Frag. 477. Cowards do not count in battle; they are there, but not in it.

Meleager. Frag. 523. A woman should be good for everything at home, but abroad good for nothing.

Frag. 525. Silver and gold are not the only coin; virtue too passes current all over the world.

(Edipus. Frag. 546. When good men die their goodness does not perish, But lives though they are gone. As for the bad, All that was theirs dies and is buried with them.

Temenidæ. Frag. 734. Every man is like the company he is wont to keep.

Phænix. Frag. 809. Who knows but life be that which men call death, And death what men call life? Phrixus. Frag. 830.

Whoso neglects learning in his youth, loses the past and is dead for the future.

Frag. 927. The gods visit the sins of the fathers upon the children.

Frag. 970.


We are all clever enough at envying a famous man while he is yet alive, and at praising him when he is dead.

Frag. 1. 1 See Herbert, page 206. 2 See Henry, page 283.




HIPPOCRATES. 460-359 B, C.

Life is short and the art long.

Aphorism i. Extreme remedies are very appropriate for extreme diseases.



430–367 B. C.

Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent.

Frag. 6.

PLAUTUS. 254 (?)-184 B. C.

(Translated by Henry Thomas Riley, B. A., with a few variations.

The references are to the text of Ritschl's second edition.3)

What is yours is mine, and all mine is yours. "

Trinummus. Act ii. Sc. 2, 48. (329.) Not by years but by disposition is wisdom acquired.

88. (367.) These things are not for the best, nor as I think they ought to be; but still they are better than that which is downright bad.

111. (392.)

He whom the gods favour dies in youth.5

Bacchides. Act iv. Sc. 7, 18. (816.)


I See Chaucer, page 6.
2 See Shakespeare, page 141.

For a desperate disease a desperate cure.
The Custom of the Isle of Cea.

3 Bohn's Classical Library.
4 See Shakespeare, page 50.
6 See Wordsworth, page 479.

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