Page:Plutarch - Moralia, translator Holland, 1911.djvu/140

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Plutarch's Morals

were also that mocked and scorned Antigonus from the very walls, and twitted him with his deformity and evil-favoured face. But he said no more than thus, Why! And I took myself before to have been very fair and well favoured. Now when he had won the town he sold in open port-sale those that had so flouted him, protesting withal unto them, that if from that time forward they mocked him any more, he would tell their masters of them and call them to account.

Moreover, I do see that hunters, yea, and orators also, commit many faults in their choler. And Aristotle doth report, that the friends of Satyrus the orator, in one cause that he had to plead for them, stopped his ears with wax, for fear lest that he, when he heard his adversaries to rail upon him in their pleas, should mar all in his anger. And do not (I pray you) we ourselves many times miss of punishing our servants by this means, when they have done some faults: for when they hear us to threaten, and give out in our anger, that we will do thus and thus unto them, they be so frighted that they run away far enough off from us. Like as nurses, therefore, are wont to say unto their little children: Cry not, and you shall have this or that; so we shall do very well to speak unto our choler in this wise; Make no such haste, soft and fair, keep not such a crying, make not so loud a noise, be not so eager and urgent upon the point: so shall you see everything that you would have, sooner done and much better. And thus a father, when he seeth his child going about to cut or cleave anything with a knife or edge tool, taketh the tool or knife out of his hand, and doth it himself; even so he that doth take revenge out of the hands of choler, punisheth not himself, but him that deserveth it: and thus he doth surely, putting his own person in no danger, without damage and loss, nay, with great profit and commodity.

Now, whereas all passions whatsoever of the mind had need of use and custom, to tame (as it were) and vanquish by exercise that which in them is unruly, rebellious and disobedient to reason: certes, in no one point besides had we need to be more exercised (I mean as touching those dealings that we have with our household servants) than in anger: for there is no envy and emulation that ariseth in us toward them, there is no fear that we need to have of them, neither any ambition that troubleth or pricketh us against them; but ordinary and continual fits of anger we have every day with them, which breed much offence and many errors, causing us to tread awry, to slip and do amiss sundry ways, by reason of that licentious liberty unto which we