Plutarch's essays and miscellanies : comprising all his works collected under the title of Morals (Volume 2) online

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1890- 1967


Venus weeping over th.. body of Adonis.
From the pamting h, Emanuel Benner.



Comprising all his Works Collected
under the Title of "Morals" • Trans-
lated from the Greek by Several Hands
Corrected and Revised by WILLIAM
W. GOODWIN, Ph.D., Professor of
Greek Literature in Harvard University
In Five Volumes • Volume Two


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870,

By Little, Bkown, and Company,

In the office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.

Copyright, 1898, 1905,
By Little, Beown, and Compant.


8. J. Parkhill & Co., Boston. C S. A.




Bt Rooeb Datib, A.m.

Periander prepares the banquet, 4. A question proposed to Bias of Priene, 4.
Thales ascertained the height of one of the pyramids, and how, 6. Need of
preparation for an entertainment, 6. Conversation by the way, 6, 7. Arrival of
the company, 7. Anacharsis the Scythian ; Eumetis, 8. The seat assigned to a
person a frivolous consideration, 9. A prodigy : a child bom of a mare, 10. The
explanation, 11. Esop relates the fable of tlie Lydian mule, 11. The frugality
of Periander, 12. Anacharsis is questioned respecting the Scythians, 12. A
letter is read from Amasis, king of Egypt, proposing a question, 13. Bias sug-
gests an answer to the question, 14. The seven wise men, in turn, reply to the
question how a people should be governed, 1.5. The discussion continued, 16, 17.
Answers to other questions, 17, 18. Riddles and their solutions, 19, 20. How
should a state be governed 1 20. How to govern a house, 21, 22. Talk about
drinking wine, 23. The end is worth more than the means, 24. The end of
drinking is to nourish and increase friendship, 24. What measure of outward
good should be regarded as sufficient, 26. A spare diet, as recommended by
Hesiod, 27. Extremes to be avoided, 28. Enjoy freely what we have, but with
moderation, 29. A necessity for eating and drinking, 31. But fatal distempers
often ensue, 32. The story of Arion and the dolphins, 33-36. The story of
Hesiod and the dolpliins, 36, 37. Another story about dolphins, 88. The crea^
urea obey the impulse of God, 39. Mijdhi ayav, " Do not overdo," 40, 41


Bt Simon Ford, D.D.

Foung people are fond of fiction, 42. The danger hence arising, 42, 43. We would
not interdict to them the reading of poetry, 44. But give them wholesome advice
touching the matter, 46. Poets deal much in fiction : it belongs to the very
essence of poetry, 46. This contributes greatly to the entertainment of the
reader, 46. Evident absurdities must be rejected, 47. Do not receive as ht«ral
truth what the poets say of the gods or of the departed, 48. Poetry is an
imitative art: the exactness of the imitation, even of a foul action, gives pleas-
ore, 50. If odious and abominable conduct is to be represented in poetry, the
expression must correspond, 61. But the poets, especially Homer, signify their
diaapproval of such conduct, 62, 68. They often introduce evil examples to


promote moral improvement, 55. The contraoSctions among poets lessen the
credit of what they say, and thus diminish the possible danger, 55. The poetB
often furnish antidotes to the poison tliey deal out, 57, 58. We may also quote
the philosophers against the poets, 59. In using the names of the gods, the
poets often mean only the powers of nature, or fortune, or some second cause,
61, G2. Tliey often use words tropically, and then are not to be taken in the
literal sense, 64, 65. Poetry requires variety, hence it never represents the
same persons, not even the gods, as uniformly virtuous or prosperous, 66, 67.
Therefore the young man must not approve or admire every thing which
is said of the heroes of poetry, 68. Instance, Achilles and Agamemnon, 69.
Several passages in Homer criticised, 69-72. Criticism on Sophocles, 72.
More criticisms aud explanations of the Iliad, 74-84, 89, 90. Young men may
be taught good morals, and how they differ from bad, by the poets, tb. Boys
may learn something useful even from passages wicked and absurd, 83. We
may show young persons liow passages in the poets, of good tendency, are
confirmed by the language of philosophers, 91. Plato and the poets sometimes
speak alike, 92. Thus may poetry and philosophy be reconciled, 93, 94.


Br Mr. P. Lancasteh, op Baliol Collbob i» Oxford

Envy and Hatred are alike opposed to Benevolence, 95. Yet they are distinct pas-
sions, 95. Their points of difference, 95, et seq. Hatred regards the hated person
as evil ; envy regards only the felicity of others, 96. Hatred may be directed
against brutes ; envy is directed only against man, 96. Brutes may hate but
never envy brutes, 96. Envy is always unjust ; hatred is often just, 96.
Hatred increases as the object grows worse; envy rises higher as the object
increases in virtue, 97. Envy often ceases when the object has risen to supreme
power ; hatred never ceases, 98.


Bt Mr. Tdllie, of Queen's College

Self-love and self-admiration expose a man to the attempts of flatterers, 100. Mean,
poor, and worthless people are not flattered, but those of a generous and noble
nature, 101. In the choice of friends, let us be wary, yet not over scrupulous,
102. A parasite who is cringing and obsequious is not difficult of detection, 103.
The great danger is from those who personate the true friend, yet are selfish and
insincere, 104. True friendship arises from a conformity of tempers and dis-
positions, 105. The flatterer attempts such a conformity, 106. It is not natural
and uniform, but a mere disguise, 107. The flatterer is mutable and inconstant,
109. He only reflects the humors of other men, 109. The true friend imitates
and commends only what is worthy, 110. The flatterer copies the feults and
blemishes of friends, 110, 111. He pretends to have the same diseases. 111.
And to suffer the same ill-treatment, 112. Counterfeiting the good qualities
of a friend, he yields him the pre-eminence, 112. The flatterer often overdoes,
in the effort to make himself agreeable, 114. The frue friend is sometimes
under the necessity of giving pain, 115. The flatterer deals out undeserved
encomium, against which our own conscience protests, 116. Sometimes be


otters praise as if he heard it from a third person, 119. Sometimes he flatters
men in their vices by deriding the contrary virtues, 119, 120. There ia a siieut
flattery, as when a man yields his place to another, 121. The parasite praises
the man of money, 122. His censures, if he deliver any, fall upon venial faults,
not on real crimes, 124. He flatters, even virhile pretending to blame, 126. Men,
are flattered when reproved for faults directly the reverse of their real ones, 126.
The friend aims at the improvement of our character ; the flatterer works on our
weak spots, 128, 129. The friend is open-hearted and natiiral ; the flatterer
ceremonious and obsequious, 130. The real friend will assist in no dishonest
endeavor: the flatterer has no scruples about the proposal, 131, 132, 134, 135.
The kindness of a friend is without parade ; that of a flatterer is attended with
bustle and show, 133. The flatterer reminds us of his past services ; the true
friend never, 134. An accurate self-knowledge defends against flattery, 137, 138.
We have no need of flattery, 138. Causeless censure may be equally mischievous
with causeless praise, 138. How to avoid causeless reprehension of others, 139,
etseq. Eliminate from the aflair all self-interest, 140. Free our speech from
reproachful words, 141. Deliver ourselves with seriousness and dignity, 142.
Make our reproofs seasonable, 143. The prosperous need reproof rather than
the afliicted, 144. When is severe reproof allowable ? 145. Reprove not in
presence of another, 148 ; especially not before inferiors, 149. A reprover should
not himself need reproof, 150. In reproving, confess our own fault, 150. Mix
with the reproof a Uttle praise, 161. If reproved, do not retort on your moni-
tor, 152. Reprove only on weighty occasions, 152. Avoid a fault-finding, cap-
tious habit, 153. Reproof is not oflensive, when kindly administered, 154. Re-
prove with caution and moderation, 156. Care should be used to leave with the
reproof a salutary impression, 155.


By William Baxter, Gent.

Four interlocutors discourse respecting this doctrine, 157-203. What had been
said by a favorer of Epicurus, 157, 158. What the Epicurean doctrine is, 159.
It recognizes no pleasure but that which is derived from the senses, 160. Objec-
tions to this doctrine, 160, et seq. Pains, as well as pleasures, enter through the
senses, and these are keenly felt, 161. Bodily pleasure is feeble and soon over,
161. The remembrance of past pleasure only stimulates desire for more, 163 ; and
this produces a restless habit, 164. No man can safely count on a continuance of
what he now enjoys, 165. Hence there must be constant disquiet, 166. A wicked
course contributes nothing to assurance of continual enjoyment, 166. Our very
bodily constitution places us in constant peril, 167. To escape evil, the Epicure-
ans say, is the supreme good ; but this is simply impossible, 167. If it were
possible, it would not raise us above the brutes, 168, 169. Freedom from bodily
pain is a trivial affair, 169. The Epicurean philosophy rejects the idea of God
and of future retribution ; this costs effort ; the brutes who never had this idea
have advantage over the followers of Epicurus, 170. Intellectual enjoyments
greatly superior to sensual pleasures, 171. There is great enjoyment in knowl-
edge, 171. An acquaintance with works of genius affords great pleasure, 172.
The mathematics afford unspeakable delight, 173. Instances of this in the cases
of Eudoxufl, Pythagwaa, Archimedes, and others, 174. Such i)leasures are fax


iuperior and more intense than sensual enjoyments, 174. The Epicurean phi-
losophy eschews these higher and purer dehghts, 176; and in old age it hat
nothing left, 176. Epicurus disallows music, 177, 178. He would deprive the
mind of its own proper good, and drag it down to the level of the body, 179.
The highest good consists in action, 180; especially beneficent action, 180, 181.
The pleasures recognized by Epicureans are base and ignoble, 182. They make
the stomach the centre, 183. A noble nature despises such pleasures, 184, 185.
Great and generous actions are never forgotton, 186; but the memory of sensual
gratification is transient, 186. A good reputation afibrds liigh satisfaction, 187.
This cannot be enjoyed by idle and debauched persons, 188. The Epicureans
leave us no hope from God, 189. The fear and worship of God, even when joined
with superstition, keep down wickedness and afibrd much pleasure, 190. This
pleasure is shared ahke by rich and poor, 191 ; but Epicureans deny it to them-
selves, 191. The Deity can neither do nor suffer wrong, 192. Therefore a friend
of Grod must be happy, 193. Of such a satisfaction the followers of Epicurus
would deprive us, 194. According to them, death is the extinction of our being,
— a gloomy prospect, 196. All men shrink at the idea of annihilation, 197. A
dark hereafter is better than none, 198. Epicureanism extinguishes hope and
virtue, 199. The hope of another and better life gives additional comfort to the
present, 200. Of all this hope and enjoyment the Epicurean doctrine deprives
us, and thus debases and contracts our nature, 202, 203.


By Isaao Chaunot, ob* the Collbqb op Phtsioiaks, Loki>oii.

I. Why do the Romans require a new-married woman to touch fire and water? 204.
2. Why do they light, at nuptials, five torches ? 204. 3, 4. Questions about
Diana's temples, 205. 6. Wliy do persons falsely reported as dead, on their re-
turn home from foreign parts, not enter by the door ? 206. 6. Why do women
kiss their relations ? 207. 7. Why are husbands and wives forbidden to receive
presents from each other f 208. 8. Why may they not receive a gift from a son-
in-law or father-in-law 1 209. 9. Why do husbands returning from remote parts
send to acquaint their wives of their approach 1 209. 10. Why do men in divine
service cover their lieads, &c. ? 209. 11. Why do they sacrifice to Saturn with
head uncovered ? 210. 12. Why do they esteem Saturn the father of truth ? 211.
13. Why do they sacrifice to Honor bareheaded 1 211. 14. Why do sons appear
at their parents' funerals with covered heads, &c. ? 211. 16. Why do Romans
not sacrifice to the god Terminus ? 212. 16. Why must not maid-servants enter
the temple of Matuta? 212. 17. Why do not women supplicate this goddess in
behalf of their children 1 213. 18. Why do the rich pay tithes to Hercules ? 213.
19. Why does the Roman year begin in January f 213. 20. Why is not myrtle
brought into the temple of Bona Dea ■? 214. 21. Why is worship paid to the wood-
pecker? 215. 22. Why is Janus described as double-faced? 215. 23. Why
are funeral things sold in the temple of Venus Libitina ? 216. 24. Explain the
Kalends, Nones, and Ides, 216. 25. Why are the days after the Kalends, Nones,
and Ides, considered unlucky ? 217. 26. Wliy is white sometimes worn as a sign
of mourning? 219. 27. Why are walls reputed sacred but not the gates?
219. 28. Why are children forbidden to swear by Hercules within doors ? 220
29. Why must not the new-married woman step over the threshold but be
'arried? 221. 30. Why is she to say, "Where thou art Caius, I am Caia"?


221. 81. Why is the name Thalaesius sung at nuptials ? 221. 82. Why are effi-
gies of men, in some cases, called Argives f 222. 33. Why did not men in ancient
times sup abroad without their sons ■? 222. 34. Why were funeral rites performed
in December instead of February ? 223. 36. Why is worship paid to the harlot
Laurentia ? 223. 36. Why is one gate at Rome known as the Window ? 224.
37. Why are spoils taken in war allowed to decay 1 226. 38. Why was divina-
tion prohibited after the month of August ? 226. 39. Why is it unlawful for a
man not yet mustered into the army to slay an enemy ? 226. 40. Why was it
unlawful to anoint a priest of Jupiter in the open air 1 226. 41. Why on the
ancient coin was Janus stamped, with a ship on the reyerse f 228. 42. Why is
the temple of Saturn used as the public treasury ? 228. 43. Why must ambassa-
dors go to Saturn's temple, and be there registered ? 229. 44. Why must not
priests of Jupiter swear 1 229. 45. Why at the feast of Venus is wine so freely
naed ? 230. 46. Why would the ancients have the temple of Horta to stand al-
ways open '' 230. 47. Why did Romulus build the temple of Vulcan without the
city? 231. 48. Why were garlands used in the Consualia? 231. 49. Why did
candidates for office appear without tunics ? 232. 60. Why did the priest of Jupi-
ter, on the death of his wife, resign his office 1 232. 51. Why is a dog set before
the Lares, and why are the Lares covered with dogs' skins ? 233. 62. Why is a dog
sacrificed to Geneta, &c. 1 233. 63. Why, at the Capitoline games, are Sardians
offered for sale by a crier ? 234. 64. Why is the flesh-market called Macellum 1
234. 66. Why do the minstrels wear women's apparel on the Idea of January 1
234. 66. Why is it supposed that matrons built the temple of Carmenta "? 235.
67. Why is milk plentifully used in the women's sacrifice to Ruminal 236.

58. Why are some senators called Patres, and others Patres Conscripti 1 236.

59. Why was one altar common to Hercules and the Muses ? 236. 60. Why, of
the two altars of Hercules, do the women not partake of the greater ? 237. 61. Why
U the name of the tutelary god of Rome not allowed to be mentioned ? 237.

62. Why of the Feciales was the Pater Patratus accounted the chief? 238.

63. Why is the Rex Sacrorum forbidden to bear civil office ? 238. 64. Why after
eating must something always be left on the table ? 239. 66. The first congress
with a wife, why must it be in the dark ? 289. 66. Why was a horse-race round
called Flaminia? 239. 67. Whence the name lictorsf 239. 68. Why do the
Luperci sacrifice a dog ? 240. 69. Why upon the Septimontium are chariots not
drawn by a pair of horses ? 240. 70. Why are convicted thieves called Furciferi ?
241. 71. Why is hay bound to the horns of unruly oxen? 241. 72. Why must
the lanterns of soothsayers be open at the top ? 242. 73. Why were priests,
afflicted with sores, forbidden to use divination ? 242. 74. Why did Serviua
TuUius build a temple of Small Fortune ? 243. • 76. Why did the Romans not
extinguish a candle ? 243. 76. Why were little moons worn on the shoes ? 244.
77. Why was the year Jupiter's, but the month Juno's '2 244. 78. Why in sooth-
saying is sinister fortunate ? 246. 79. Why might the bones of one who had tri-
umphed be brought into the city ? 246. 80. Why were the consuls requested not
to come to the supper of the triumpher ? 246. 81. Why did not the tribune wear
purple ? 246. 82. Why, before the chief officers, were the axes carried bound up
in rods ? 247. 83. Why did the Romans forbid a human sacrifice to barbarians,
and offer one themselves ? 248. 84. Why does the Roman day begin at mid-
night ? 249. 86. Why of old were women not suffered to grind or to cook ? 250.
86. Why are there no marriages in May ? 260. 87. Why is the hair of a bride
parted with a spear? 251. 88. Why is the money for public plays called lucarT
261. 89. Why is the Quirinalia called the Feast of Fools ? 261. 90. Why, at a


sacrifice to Hercules, wa« no other god mentioned, &c. ? 252. 91. Why might
not patricians dwell about the Capitol f 252. 92. Why is a garland of oak-leave*
put on him who saves a citizen in battle ? 252. 93. Why are vultures used in
soothsaying ? 253. 94. Why is the temple of Aesculapius placed without the
city? 264. 95. Why must chaste people abstain from pulse? 264. 96. Why
are Vestal Virgins, when unchaste, buried aUve ? 254. 97. Why, at a horse-race,
is the winning horse sacrificed to Mars, &c. 1 255. 98. Why do the censors begin
their official work by feeding the sacred geese ? 265 99. Why are augurs never
deprived of office t 256. 100. Why, at the Ides of August, do the servants feast
and the free- women wait on them 1 257. 101. Why are boys decorated with the
necklace called bulla f 257. 102. Why do boys receive names at nine days old,
and girls at eight ^ 268. 103. Why are those whose fathers are not known called
Spuriusf 258. 104. Why was Bacchus called Liber Pater ■? 259. 105. Why are
widows married on holidays, but not virgins 1 259. 106. Why do the Romans wor
•hip Fortuna Primigenia f 260. 107. Whence the term histriones f 260. 108. Why
are marriages between persons near akin not practised? 260. 109. Wliy
must not the chief priest of Jupiter touch meal or leaven f 261. 110. Why is he
forbidden to touch raw flesh ? 261. 111. Why is he forbidden to touch or name
dog or goaf? 262. 112 Why is he forbidden to touch ivy, or to pass under vine
branches 1 263. 113. Why is he forbidden to bear civil office 1 264.


Bt the Sahb Hand.

I. Who are they at Epidaurus called Koviirodec and 'kprvvoi f 266. 2. What womau
did the Cumans call Onobatis 1 266. 3. Who is the TireKKaixTTpui among the
Solenses 1 266. 4. Who are the 'A/iv^fiovec among the "Cnidians, and who is the
'AfeoTTip f 266. 6. Who were the XpTjaroi among the Arcadians and Lacedaemo-
nians 1 266. 6. Who is Kptdo?Myoi among the Opuntians ? 266. 7. What sort
of clouds are the Ploiades ? 266. 8. Who is called Platychaetas among the Boeo-
tians f 267. 9. Who at Delphi is called 'Oaiuriip 1 267. 10. What is Phyxeme-
lum? 268. 11. Who are the 'A7roCT^£vdw»?rot ? 268. 12. What was Charila among
the Delphians? 268. 13. What is the beggars' meat among the Aenianes ? 270.
14. Who were the Coliads among the Itliacans? what was a 0ay<Aof ? 271. 16.
What is the wooden dog among the Locrians? 271. 16. What tiling do the
Megarians call a^^pufm t 2T2.. 17. Wlio was called dopv^evoc 1 272. 18. What
is naXivTOKia 1 273. 19. What is the Antliedon of which Pythia speaks 1 273.
20. Wliat is meant at Priene by darkness at the Oak? 274. 21. Who in Crete
were called KaraKavrai. ? 274. 22. What was the Sepulchre of the Boys at Chalce-
don 1 275. 23. Who at Argos are Uiiapxayerac and 'ETuiatoi ? 276. 24. What at
Argos is tywiafjLa ? 276. 25. Who are 'Maanjp, 'kTuiiipioi, and HdKaiivaloi ? 276.
26. What is the meaning of a verse sung by certain virgins of Aenos ! 276. 27.
Why at Rhodes does the crier never enter the chapel of Ocridion ? 277. 28. Why
at Tenedos does no piper enter the temple, nor must Achilles be named there 1
277. 29. Who was the iru^rrig at Epidamnus ? 278. 80. What is the shore of
Araenus, in Thrace? 278. 81. Why at the feast of Ceres do the women of
Eretria roast meat by the sun ? 279. 32. Who at Miletus were the 'Aetvavro* 1
279. 83. Why do the Chalcidians call a certain place 'kKfiaiuv Aeaxv ? 279. 84.
Who was he that sacrificed an ox to his benefactor ? 280. 86. Why did the Bot-
tiaean maids sing, " Let us go to Athens " ? 280. S6. Why do the ^Xeiaa wome^


in their hymns say, "O Bacchus, come with an ox foot' » 281. 87. Why
is a place at Tanagra called Achilleum f 281. 38. Who among the Boeo-
tians were the •?oW£tf, and the 'O^mt ? 282. 39. Why do the Arcadians stone
those who go willingly into the Lycaeum, &c. ? 282. 40. Who is Eunostus,
tho hero of Tanagra, and why may not women enter liis grove ? 283. 41. How
came there to be a river in Boeotia called Scamander 1 284. 42. Wlience the
saying, " Let this prevail " ? 286. 43. Why is the city of the Ithacans called
Alalcomenae? 286. 44. Who are the Monophagi in Aegina? 286. 46. Why
does a statue of Jupiter in Caria carry an axe and not a thunderbolt 1 286. 46.
Why do the Trallians call the pulse 6po/3of Kadaprrfi ? 287. 47. Why do the Eleans
say, " worse than Sambicus " 1 287. 48. Why is the temple of Ulysses at Lace-
daemon near the monument of Leucippides ? 287. 49. Why do the women of
Chalcedon, on meeting other women's husbands, cover one cheek ? 288. 50.
Why do the Argives bring their sheep to the grove of Agenor, &c. 1 289. 61. Why
did the Argive boys in sport call themselves Ballacrades 1 289. 62. Why do the
men of Elis lead their mares out of their borders, &c. ? 289. 63. Why was it a
custom amongst the Gnossians that they who borrowed money upon usury should
snatch it up and run away ? 289. 64. Why in Samos do they call upon Venus of
Dexicreon 1 289. 65. Why in Samos, when they sacrifice to Mercury, do they
allow stealing ? 290. 66. Why in Samos is there a place called Uavaifia 1 290.
67. Why in Samos was the Andron called Pedetes 1 290. 58. Why ia the priest
of Hercules in Cos clothed in women's apparel 1 291. 59. Whence the race of
Hamazocylists in Megara 1 292.


By Mb. Patrick, of the Chabtebhousb.

True happiness is not to be bought and sold ; wealth will not procure it, 294. The
love of money does not cease on the acquisition of money, 296. A man who has
much is intent on getting more, 296. He does not need more, but to be relieved
of some part of what he has, 296. To possess money, and not to use it, is a dis-
temper of the mind, 297. The love of wealth is never satisfied, 298. It makes
of a man a miserable slave, 299. Such men are always in want, 297, et seq.
They excite aversion in the beholders, 299. They lay up wealth for their chil-
dren, 300 ; who impatiently expect their decease, 301. What is the use of
riches 1 302. Riches need not be coveted, since our real wants are easily sup-
plied, 303. If there were nobody to see a display of riches besides their possessor,
their chief value would cease, 304. When nobody looks on, riches signify noth-
ing, 805.



Bt Mb. Lamcasteb, Fellow of Baliol Colleqb in Oxfobd.

An arrogant boaster is universally condemned, 306. Yet there are times when a
man may fitly praise himself, 807. A man may vindicate liis worthy acts when
maligned by others, 809. Instances of this in Pericles, Pelopidas, Epaminondas,

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