Reference > Quotations > John Bartlett, comp. > Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. > Page 922
John Bartlett (1820–1905).  Familiar Quotations, 10th ed.  1919.
Page 922
Plutarch. (A.D. 46?–A.D. c. 120) (continued)
    Have in readiness this saying of Solon, “But we will not give up our virtue in exchange for their wealth.”
          How to profit by our Enemies.
    Socrates thought that if all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap, whence every one must take an equal portion, most persons would be contented to take their own and depart.
          Consolation to Apollonius.
    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.”
          Consolation to Apollonius.
    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.
          Consolation to Apollonius.
    The measure of a man’s life is the well spending of it, and not the length.
          Consolation to Apollonius.
    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.
          Consolation to Apollonius.
    There are two sentences inscribed upon the Delphic oracle, hugely accommodated to the usages of man’s life: “Know thyself,” 1 and “Nothing too much;” and upon these all other precepts depend.
          Consolation to Apollonius.
    To one commending an orator for his skill in amplifying petty matters, Agesilaus said, “I do not think that
Note 1.
See Pope, Quotation 22.

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]


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