Page:Plutarch - Moralia, translator Holland, 1911.djvu/236

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214
Plutarch's Morals


as he is loving to his own children. It is reported of Queen ApoUonis the Cyzicen, mother to King Eumenes and to three other princes, to wit, Attains, Philetaerus, and Athenaeus, that she reputed and reported herself to be right happy, and rendered thanks unto the immortal gods, not for her riches nor royal port and majesty; but that it was her good fortune to see those three younger sons of hers serving as pensioners and esquires of the body to Eumenes their elder brother, and himself living fearless and in as security in the midst of them, standing about his person with their pollaxes, halberds, and partisans in their hands, and girded with swords by their sides. On the other side. King Xerxes, perceiving that his son Ochus set an ambush and laid trains to murder his brethren, died for very sorrow and anguish of heart. Terrible and grievous are the wars, said Euripides, between brethren; but unto their parents above all others most grievous; for that whosoever hateth his own brother, and may not vouchsafe him a good eye and kind look, cannot choose but in his heart blame the father that begat him, and the mother that bare him.

We read that Pisistratus married his second wife when his sons whom he had by the former were now men grown, saying: That since he saw them prove so good and towardly, he gladly would be the father of many more that might grow up like them; even so, good and loyal children will not only affect and love one another for their parents' sakes, but also love their parents so much the more, in regard of their mutual kindness, as making this account, thinking also and saying thus to themselves; That they are obliged and bounden unto them in many respects, but principally for their brethren, as being the most precious heritage, the sweetest and most pleasant possession that they inherit by them. And therefore Homer did very well when he brought in Telemachus among other calamities of his, reckoning this for one, that he had no brother at all; and saying thus:

For Jupiter my father's race in me alone
Now ended hath, and given me brother none.

As for Hesiodus, he did not well to wish and give advice to have an only begotten son, to be the full heir and universal inheritor of a patrimony; even that Hesiodus who was the disciple of those Muses whom men have named μούσας, as it were όμού ούσας, for that by reason of their mutual affection and sister-like love they keep always together. Certes, the amity of brethren is so respective to parents, that it is both a certain demonstration