Diogenes the Cynic, when a little before his death he fell into a slumber, and his physician rousing him out of it asked him whether anything ailed him, wisely answered, Nothing, sir; only one brother anticipates another,Sleep before Death.
About Pontus there are some creatures of such an extempore being that the whole term of their life is confined within the space of a day; for they are brought forth in the morning, are in the prime of their existence at noon, grow old at night, and then die.
For many, as Cranton tells us, and those very wise men, not now but long ago, have deplored the condition of human nature, esteeming life a punishment, and to be born a man the highest pitch of calamity; this, Aristotle tells us, Silenus declared when he was brought captive to Midas.
Plutarch ascribes this saying to Plato. It is also ascribed to Pythagoras, Chilo, Thales, Cleobulus, Bias, and Socrates; also to Phemonë, a mythical Greek poetess of the ante-Homeric period. Juvenal (Satire xi. 27) says that this precept descended from heaven. [back]