Page:Plutarch - Moralia, translator Holland, 1911.djvu/137

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
115
Of Meekness

rather of kings, princes, tyrants, and potentates: As, for example, such as that was of Antigonus, who hearing his soldiers upon a time revile him behind his pavilion, thinking that he heard them not, put forth his staff from under the cloth unto them and said: A whoreson knaves, could you not go a little farther off, when you meant thus to rail upon us? Likewise when one Arcadian, an Argive or Achæan never gave over reviling of King Philip, and abusing him in most reproachful terms, yea, and to give him warning

So far to fly, until he thither came
Where no man knew nor heard of Philip's name.

And afterwards the man was seen (I know not how) in Macedonia; the friends and courtiers of King Philip were in hand with him to have him punished, and that in any wise he should not let him go and escape: Philip, contrariwise, having him once in his hands, spake gently unto him, used him courteously, sending unto him in his lodging gifts and presents, and so sent him away. And after a certain time he commanded those courtiers of purpose to inquire what words he gave out of him unto the Greeks; but when every one made report again and testified that he was become another man, and ceased not to speak wonderful things in the praise of him; Lo (quoth Philip), then unto them: Am not I a better physician than all you, and can I not skill how to cure a foul-tongued fellow? Another time, at the great solemnity of the Olympian games, when the Greeks abused him with very bad language, his familiar friends about him said they deserved to be sharply chastised and punished for so miscalling and reviling him, who had been so good a benefactor of theirs: What would they do and say then (quoth he) if I should deal hardly by them and do them shrewd turns? Semblably, notable and excellent was the carriage of Pisistratus to Thrasibulus: of King Porsenna to Mutius, and of Magas to Philemon, who in a public and frequent theatre had mocked and scoffed at him in this manner:

Magas, there are some letters come
Unto you from a king;
But letter Magas none can read, i
Nor write for anything.

Now it chanced afterwards that by a tempest at sea he was cast upon the port town Parætonium, whereof Magas was governor, and so fell into his hands, who did him no other harm, but commanded one of his guard or officers about him only with