Page:Plutarch - Moralia, translator Holland, 1911.djvu/258

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236
Plutarch's Morals


anger by excuse, making or asking forgiveness, and also by pardoning them before they come to excuse if we have been wronged by them.

And therefore Euclides, that great scholar of Socrates, is much renowned and famous in all schools of philosophy, for that when he heard his brother break out into these beastly and wicked words against him. The foul ill take me if I be not revenged and meet with thee; and a mischief come to me also (quoth he again) if I appease not thine anger, and persuade thee to love me as well as ever thou didst. But King Eumenes not in word but in deed and effect surpassed all others in meekness and patience: for Perseus, king of the Macedonians, being his mortal enemy, had secretly addressed an ambush and set certain men of purpose to murder him about Delphos, espying their time when they saw him going from the seaside to the said town for to consult with the oracle of Apollo: now when he was gone a little past the ambush they began to assail him from behind, tumbling down and throwing mighty stones upon his head and neck, wherewith he was so astonished that his sight failed, and he fell withal, in that manner as he was taken for dead: now the rumour hereof ran into all parts, insomuch as certain of his servitors and friends made speed to the city Pergamus, reporting the tidings of this occurrent, as if they had been present and seen all done; whereupon Attalus, the eldest brother next unto himself, an honest and kind-hearted man, one also who always had carried himself most faithfully and loyally unto Eumenes, was not only declared king, and crowned with the royal diadem; but that which more is, espoused and married Queen Stratonice, his said brother's wife, and lay with her. But afterwards, when counter-news came that Eumenes was alive and coming homeward again, Attalus laid aside his diadem, and taking a partisan or javelin in his hand (as his manner beforetime was), with other pensioners and squires of the body he went to meet his brother: King Eumenes received him right graciously, took him lovingly by the hand, embraced the queen with all honour, and of a princely and magnanimous spirit put up all; yea, and when he had lived a long time after without any complaint, suspicion, and jealousy at all, in the end at his death made over and assigned both the crown and the queen his wife unto his brother, the aforesaid Attalus: and what did Attalus now after his brother's decease? he would not foster and bring up (as heir apparent) so much as one child that he had by Stratonice his wife, although she bear unto him