Page:Plutarch - Moralia, translator Holland, 1911.djvu/148

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126
Plutarch's Morals

wine, instead of Lyæus and Chorius, that is to say, The Looser of cares and Leader of dances (which are his surnames), to be called Omestes and Mœnoles, which signify Cruel and Furious. As for simple madness of itself alone, the ellebore growing in Antycira is sufficient to cure: but if it be mingled with choler it causeth tragical fits, and those so strange, that a man would repute them for mere fables.

And therefore we must not give place to anger, neither in sport and pastime; for in lieu of goodwill it breedeth enmity: nor in conference and disputations; for it tumeth the love and desire of knowledge into debate and contention: nor in deciding and judging causes; because to authority it addeth violence and insolency: nor in the teaching and instruction of our children; for it maketh them desperate and haters of learning: nor in prosperity; for it encreaseth the envy and grudge of men: nor yet in adversity, because it taketh away pity and compassion, when they who are fallen into any misfortune, shew themselves testy, froward and quarrelous to those who come to moan and mourn with them. This did Priamus, as we read in Homer:

Avaunt (quoth he), you chiding guests.
You odious mates, be gone;
Have you no sorrows of your own.
But you come me to moan?

On the other side, fair conditions and mild behaviour yieldeth succour and help in some cases; composeth and ordereth matters aright in others; dulceth and allay eth that which is tart and sour: and in one word, by reason of that kind, meek and gentle quality, it overcometh anger and all wayward testiness whatsoever. Thus it is reported of Euclides in a quarrel or variance between him and his brother: For when his brother had contested and said unto him; I would I might die, if I be not revenged of thee: he inferred again; Nay, let me die for it, if I persuade thee not otherwise before I have done; by which one word he presently won his brother's heart, so that he changed his mind, and they parted friends. Polemon likewise, at a certain time, when one who loved precious stones, and was sick for fair and costly rings and such-like curious jewels, did rail at him outrageously, answered not a word again, but looked very wistly upon one of the signets that the other had, and well considered the fashion and workmanship thereof: which, when the party perceived, taking as it should seem no small contentment, and being very well pleased that he so perused his jewel; Not so, Polemon (quoth he again), but look