Reference > Quotations > John Bartlett, comp. > Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. > Page 909
John Bartlett (1820–1905).  Familiar Quotations, 10th ed.  1919.
Page 909
Plutarch. (A.D. 46?–A.D. c. 120) (continued)
    Themistocles said that he certainly could not make use of any stringed instrument; could only, were a small and obscure city put into his hands, make it great and glorious.
          Life of Themistocles.
    Eurybiades lifting up his staff as if he were going to strike, Themistocles said, “Strike, if you will; but hear.” 1
          Life of Themistocles.
    Themistocles said to Antiphales, “Time, young man, has taught us both a lesson.”
          Life of Themistocles.
    Laughing at his own son, who got his mother, and by his mother’s means his father also, to indulge him, he told him that he had the most power of any one in Greece: “For the Athenians command the rest of Greece, I command the Athenians, your mother commands me, and you command your mother.” 2
          Life of Themistocles.
    “You speak truth,” said Themistocles; “I should never have been famous if I had been of Seriphus; 3 nor you, had you been of Athens.”
          Life of Themistocles.
    Themistocles said that a man’s discourse was like to a rich Persian carpet, the beautiful figures and patterns of which can be shown only by spreading and extending it out; when it is contracted and folded up, they are obscured and lost. 4
          Life of Themistocles.
Note 1.
”Strike,” said he, “but hear me.”—Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. (Themistocles.) [back]
Note 2.
Diophantus, the young son of Themistocles, made his boast often and in many companies, that whatsoever pleased him pleased also all Athens; for whatever he liked, his mother liked; and whatever his mother liked, Themistocles liked; and whatever Themistocles liked, all the Athenians liked.—Of the Training of Children.

When the son of Themistocles was a little saucy toward his mother, he said that this boy had more power than all the Grecians; for the Athenians governed Greece, he the Athenians, his wife him, and his son his wife.—Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. (Themistocles.) [back]
Note 3.
An obscure island. [back]
Note 4.
Themistocles said speech was like to tapestry; and like it, when it was spread it showed its figures, but when it was folded up, hid and spoiled them.—Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders. (Themistocles.) [back]


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