Page:Plutarch - Moralia, translator Holland, 1911.djvu/250

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228
Plutarch's Morals


Now forasmuch as those especially who by nature are ambitious and disposed to thirst after glory, be for the most part envious and jealous toward those who are more honoured and renowned than they; it were very expedient for brethren if they would avoid this inconvenience, not to seek for to attain either honour or authority and credit all by the same means, but some by one thing and some by another: for we see by daily experience, it is an ordinary matter that wild beasts do fight and war one with another, namely, when they feed in one and the same pasture; and among champions and such as strive for the mastery in feats of activity, we count those for their adversaries and concurrents only who profess and practise the same kind of game or exercise; for those that go to it with fists and buffets are commonly friends good enough to such sword-fencers as fight at sharp to the utterance, and well-willers to the champions called Pancratiastae: likewise the runners in a race agree full well with wrestlers: these, I say, are ready to aid, assist and favour one another, which is the reason that of the two sons of Tyndarus, Pollux won the prize always at buffets, but Castor, his brother, went away with the victory in the race. And Homer very well in his poem feigned that Teucer was an excellent archer, and became famous thereby, but his brother Ajax was best at close fight and hand-strokes, standing to it heavily armed at all pieces:

And with his shield so bright and wide
His brother Teucer he did hide.

And thus it is with them that govern a state and commonweal; those that be men of arms and manage martial affairs never lightly do envy them much who deal in civil causes and use to make speeches unto the people; likewise among those that profess rhetoric and eloquence, advocates who plead at bar, never fall out with those sophisters that read lectures of oratory; among professors of physic, they that cure by diet envy not the chirurgeons who work by hand; whereas they who endeavour and seek to win credit and estimation by the same art, or by their faculty and sufficiency in any one thing, do as much (especially if they be badly minded withal) as those rivals who, loving one mistress, would be better welcome and find more grace and favour at her hands one than another.

True it is, I must needs confess, that they who go divers ways do no good one to another; but surely such as choose sundry courses of life do not only avoid the occasions of envy,