Page:Plutarch - Moralia, translator Holland, 1911.djvu/423

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401
Of Exile or Banishment

the common place, or to perform our service and give attendance in the court: there will be none such about to sail into the island where thou art confined for to trouble thee; none will come to thee to demand or crave anything, to borrow money, to request thy suretyship, or thy assistance for to second him in the suit of any ofiice and magistracy; unless peradventure some of thy best friends only and nearest kinsfolk, of mere love and affectionate desire to see thee, sail over for thy sake; for the rest of thy life besides is permitted to be as free and safe as a sanctuary, not subject to any spoil, trouble or molestation, if thou be willing and can skill to use thy liberty and repose.

As for him who thinketh those to be happy who trudge up and down in the world abroad, spending most part of their time out of their own houses, either in common inns and hostelries, or else in ferrying from place to place, he is much like unto him that supposeth the wandering planets to be in a better state than the other stars which be fixed in the firmament and remove not; and yet there is not one of the said planets but is carried round in a peculiar and proper sphere of their own, as it were in a certain isle, keeping always a just order in their revolution: for according as Heraclitus saith; The very sun himself will never pass beyond his bounds; and if he do, the furies which are the ministers of justice will find him out and be ready to encounter him. But these and all such-like reasons, my good friend, we are to allege unto them and sing in their ears, who being sent away and confined to some one isle, cannot possibly change for another country, nor have commerce and dealing in any place else whatsoever, those I say,

Whom surging waves of sea both night and day
Enclose perforce, and cause them there to stay.

As for you unto whom no certain place is limited and assigned for to inhabit, but who are debarred and excluded only out of one, are thus to think, that the exclusion out of one city alone is an overture and ready way made unto all others.

Now if any man will object and say; In this case of exile and banishment we are disabled for bearing rule and office of state, we sit not at council table in the senate house; we are not presidents in the public plays and solemnities, etc. You may answer and reply again in this manner; Neither are we troubled with factions and civil dissensions; we are not called upon nor charged with payments in public levies and exactions; neither be we bound to make court unto great governors, and to give