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John Bartlett (1820–1905).  Familiar Quotations, 10th ed.  1919.
 
Page 916
 
 
Plutarch. (A.D. 46?–A.D. c. 120) (continued)
 
8824
    Xenophanes said, “I confess myself the greatest coward in the world, for I dare not do an ill thing.”
          Of Bashfulness.
8825
    One made the observation of the people of Asia that they were all slaves to one man, merely because they could not pronounce that syllable No.
          Of Bashfulness.
8826
    Euripides was wont to say, “Silence is an answer to a wise man.”
          Of Bashfulness.
8827
    Zeno first started that doctrine that knavery is the best defence against a knave. 1
          Of Bashfulness.
8828
    Alexander wept when he heard from Anaxarchus that there was an infinite number of worlds; and his friends asking him if any accident had befallen him, he returns this answer: “Do you not think it a matter worthy of lamentation that when there is such a vast multitude of them, we have not yet conquered one?”
          On the Tranquillity of the Mind.
8829
    Like the man who threw a stone at a bitch, but hit his step-mother, on which he exclaimed, “Not so bad!”
          On the Tranquillity of the Mind.
8830
    Pittacus said, “Every one of you hath his particular plague, and my wife is mine; and he is very happy who hath this only.”
          On the Tranquillity of the Mind.
8831
    He was a man, which, as Plato saith, is a very inconstant creature. 2
          On the Tranquillity of the Mind.
8832
    The pilot cannot mitigate the billows or calm the winds. 3
          On the Tranquillity of the Mind.
8833
    I, for my own part, had much rather people should say of me that there neither is nor ever was such a man as Plutarch, than that they should say, “Plutarch is an unsteady, fickle, froward, vindictive, and touchy fellow.”
          Of Superstition.
 
Note 1.
Set a thief to catch a thief.—Bohn: A Hand-book of Proverbs. [back]
Note 2.
Man in sooth is a marvellous, vain, fickle, and unstable subject.—Montaigne: Works, book i. chap. i. That Men by various Ways arrive at the same End. [back]
Note 3.
See Publius Syrus, Quotation 74. [back]
 

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