Reference > Quotations > John Bartlett, comp. > Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. > Page 912
John Bartlett (1820–1905).  Familiar Quotations, 10th ed.  1919.
Page 912
Plutarch. (A.D. 46?–A.D. c. 120) (continued)
    It is no great wonder if in long process of time, while fortune takes her course hither and thither, numerous coincidences should spontaneously occur. If the number and variety of subjects to be wrought upon be infinite, it is all the more easy for fortune, with such an abundance of material, to effect this similarity of results. 1
          Life of Sertorius.
    Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little.
          Life of Sertorius.
    Agesilaus being invited once to hear a man who admirably imitated the nightingale, he declined, saying he had heard the nightingale itself. 2
          Life of Agesilaus II.
    It is circumstance and proper measure that give an action its character, and make it either good or bad.
          Life of Agesilaus II.
    The old proverb was now made good, “the mountain had brought forth a mouse.” 3
          Life of Agesilaus II.
    Pompey bade Sylla recollect that more worshipped the rising than the setting sun. 4
          Life of Pompey.
Note 1.
’T is one and the same Nature that rolls on her course, and whoever has sufficiently considered the present state of things might certainly conclude as to both the future and the past.—Montaigne: Essays, book ii. chap. xii. Apology for Raimond Sebond.

I shall be content if those shall pronounce my History useful who desire to give a view of events as they did really happen, and as they are very likely, in accordance with human nature, to repeat themselves at some future time,—if not exactly the same, yet very similar.—Thucydides: Historia, i. 2, 2.

What is this day supported by precedents will hereafter become a precedent.—Ibid., Annals. xi. 24. [back]
Note 2.
Agesilaus being exhorted to hear one that imitated the voice of a nightingale, “I have often,” said he, “heard nightingales themselves.”—Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. (Agesilaus.) [back]
Note 3.
See Horace, Quotation 6. [back]
Note 4.
See Garrick, Quotation 4.

He [Tiberius] upbraided Macro in no obscure and indirect terms “with forsaking the setting sun and turning to the rising.”—Tacitus: Annals, book iv. c. 47, 20. [back]


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